Media firm Russells takes the blame for JK Rowling leak

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  • A 'Ratner' moment for Russells.

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  • Is the picture of a high bridge in a remote part of the country something to do with Harry Potter? Or is the link a little darker?

    This is poor form, but it's happened. Credit to Russells for putting their hands up and admitting that they can't be trusted with confidential information.

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  • To be settled by a game of Quidditch ...

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  • What a great example to use when someone next asks me what firm reputation has got to do with what partners do and say outside of the office. But give some credit to Russells and Gossage - at least the blame was not pushed down the food chain. Besides, they are not alone, partners all over the place will be feeling slightly hot and bothered this afternoon and it won't just be due to the weather.

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  • I had thought it accepted wisdom, if you ever want to keep anything confidential, that the last person in the world you should tell is your wife, or her mate...

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  • I understand the solicitor's duties towards their clients etc. aspect of this story, however I do think its a bit ironic that she feels her 'trust has been misplaced' when she was effectively lying herself by using the pseudonym in the first place.

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  • Presumable he revealed the information to his wife's former best friend...

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  • Re: psuedonym issue - its her right, and privilege - in both senses, to expect that the information about her true identity was kept confidential if that was her aim. We can fairly assume that drawing up agreements and contracts assuring the secrecy of her true identity was part of what Russells was being paid for. Its a shocking breach of trust and confidentiality. Saying that the conversation with his wife's friend was confidential is a ridiculous attempt to cover up what he did - he was passing on confidential client information he had no business discussing. Loose lips...

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  • Well, here's a prime one for Prof Con classes to chew over!

    Anonymous 19-Jul-2013 1:27pm - she probably used a pseudonym for a veriety of her own reasons, such as not having those works lumped in with Harry Potter, to 'prove' to herself she is a good author without the popularity of one series... In short it isn't lying to protect your identity when being published.

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  • @Anon 1:27pm. Seriously? Pseudonym's in publishing are nothing new.
    I don't think the people who bought the book thinking it was written by Robert Galbraith will feel their trust has been misplaced to the same extent that any client would on finding their solicitor has blabbed confidential information to impress his missus' mate.

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  • Reminds me of the story about Lord Kitchener, who is said to have remarked early in World War One that he tried to avoid sharing military secrets with the Cabinet, as they would all tell their wives, apart from Lloyd George "who would tell someone else's wife"

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  • Next partners meeting will be a bundle of fun

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  • The relativism displayed here, despite a clear and admitted breach of the SRA Rules, is shocking. Is is any wonder that reminding practitioners of the rules which govern their practices, and the ethics which lie behind those rules, has become a priority for those considering the continuing educational needs of solicitors?

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  • “We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact J K Rowling". What a complete and utter joke of a statement by Russells. I'm not aware confidentiality obligations under the Code of Conduct have an exception if the breach is a "private conversation". Surely a visit to the SDT must follow, together with expulsion from the partnership. Having said that, what a class act the wife's (now ex, I assume) best friend clearly isn't!

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  • Brilliant and almost as amusing as the day an articled clerk ensured a public right of way was vectored across the front lawn of Lord Nathan's place when he was senior partner at now long lost City firm, Herbert Oppenheimer Nathan & VanDyke.

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  • Breaching confidentiality is such a serious offence and knowing JKR was such a high profile client , I am truly surprised by Gossage's behaviour . This has caused huge harm to Russell's . May this be a lesson for all lawyers and professional people .

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  • Hardly insider dealing but still not good enough.
    Does smack of a big kid trying to impress his wife's friend but I think there is a big kid lurking in all of us.
    I hope it doesn't ruin him.

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  • "the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly"

    I found that excuse more shocking than the original breach. Any disclosure is a fundamental betrayal of the entire profession. There is no excuse. "Yes he disclosed confidential information, but only to someone he thought wouldn't spread it around" is stunning in its failure to grasp the enormity of what this guy has done.

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  • Still - I am sure that the revenue generated by the 415,000% rise in sales of the offending book will soften the pain caused to Ms Rowling by having her cover blown....

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  • ' its not me who can't keep a secret,its the people I tell '

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  • Expelliarmus!

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  • Utmost respect to JK Rowling for not wanting her new works to be immediately associated with Harry Potter. Look at Star Wars - ruined the careers of actors like Mark Hamill, just because he will always be Luke Skywalker...

    Poor form from all parties at fault here.

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  • If she wanted people to know who she was, she would have used her known name. She is entitled to her privacy. With the success of Harry Potter, she has a built in fan base, but its not that hard to see why she wants to branch out and be known for more than HP. To do that, she would need another name. Now sales went from trickling to through the roof and not b/c the book was amazing, but b/c her built in fan base just wants to know and is buying it b/c she wrote it. That Rita "Judith" Skeeter lady needed to shut her trap. She didn't use her own Twitter account to TWEET this to a journalist, she used a fake one, so she KNEW she was in the wrong. Shameful.

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  • This can only lead to him being sacked - I can't see how else he can continue to work there. Confidentiality is such a basic requirement...

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  • One has to wonder, will Russells choose to retain Gossage as a partner, or Rowlings as a client? I can't see them managing to retain both.

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  • Inb my view it is misplaced to say "credit to Russells". This is a blatant example of breach of client confidentiality and the SRA should make an example of them and Gossage should be formally reprimanded if not struck off.

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  • As a Doctor, if I did this; I'd be formally reprimanded and probably up defending my career in front of my Medical Board. Confidentiality has to be total-no exceptions, anything else violates the basic tenet of the legal process. I wouldn't ever want Chris Gossard even standing near a Law Office after this.

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