Ten Points From Gryffindor: J.K. Rowling’s Lawyer Fined Over Cuckoo’s Calling Leak

Photo courtesy of David Levenson / Getty Images

Photo courtesy of David Levenson / Getty Images

Bill Sweeney
Staff Writer

Christopher Gossage, lawyer and partner at Russells Solicitors, is the man who let slip that Harry Potter author JK Rowling had secretly written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. He has now been charged a fine of £1,000 ($1,650) and received a letter of warning for violating his client’s trust.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority, found that Gossage had disclosed confidential information about his client, JK, to a third party, amounting to several breaches of its code of conduct. The SRA stated that these breaches of trust show that he was not “behaving in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services.”

In July, Gossage and the firm apologized for the incident and made a reportedly “substantial”, yet undisclosed, donations to a charity of JK choosing.

At the time of the incident, JK said that she had been “more disappointed than angry” by the revelation, despite the fact that sales of book quickly skyrocketed. The novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, about a war veteran turned private investigator, received good reviews but was at a lull of only 1,500 copies when the true author was revealed.

Gossage had told a friend of his wife, who soon shared the information on Twitter with Sunday Times journalist India Knight.
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