British Lawyer Who Blabbed J.K. Rowling's Secret Pen Name Gets Fined and Reprimanded

Posted on January 3, 2014

THE BBC reports that the lawyer who revealed that author Robert Galbraith is really J.K. Rowling is in big trouble. Christopher Alan Gossage is a partner at Russells Solicitors which represented Rowling in various matters. Mr. Gossage blabbed to his wife's best friend, Judith Callegari, that famous author Rowling was the real person behind the name of mystery writer Galbraith who had published a novel called The Cuckoo's Calling. The best friend then revealed the story to a British journalist over Twitter and that was the end of that secret. Rowling was furious and sued over the breach. The firm apologized, paid her attorney's fees and had to donate a large sum to a soldier's charity.

Now Gossage has been fined 1,000 pounds by the UK's Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is similar to a bar association in the U.S. The organization also slammed Gossage in a written rebuke for violating his client's privacy. The entire story is really quite odd. Gossage has been practicing law since 2001 -- he's old enough to know better, certainly.

The firm's website says that he is actually the head of the firm's Corporate Department. Why would he share such an important secret to his wife's best friend? Is she really just a friend? Or is he covering for his wife who is the true leaker? Was there alcohol involved? In any event, an attorney who can't keep a secret is a liability to his firm.

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