General News

Lawyer behind J.K. Rowling novel leak fined

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Jan 02, 2014 | 8:04am EST

A British lawyer who outed Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling as the secret author of The Cuckoo's Calling has been fined $1,500 (£1,000). Rowling filed a lawsuit against lawyer Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells law firm, for breach of confidentiality after he revealed she was the real writer behind the crime novel, which was published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Gossage leaked the information to his friend Judith Callegari, who made the revelation public on her Twitter.com account, prompting the story to be picked up by editors at The Sunday Times. In July (13), a judge at London's High Court ruled in the author's favour and bosses at Russells were ordered to cover her legal fees and to hand over a donation to ABF The Soldiers' Charity, also known as the Army Benevolent Fund. It has now emerged that Gossage has since been fined $1,500 for breaching privacy rules and has also been issued with a written rebuke from Britain's Solicitor's Regulation Authority (SRA). In a ruling made public on 30 December (13), executives at the SRA confirmed that Gossage breached several principles of its code of conduct "by disclosing confidential information about a client to a third party" and he failed to "behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services".

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