On Monday, Lucy Reed, a barrister at St John’s Chambers in Bristol, was surprised to read in The Times that she was acting in a complex international dynastic "feud" with Cherie Blair – and had been appointed a QC.
Immediately Reed (pictured) took to her blog, pinktape.co.uk, writing:
"Anyone got ANY idea who they have mistaken me for?? I can’t work it out!! (one other Lucy Reed is an arbitrator but neither British nor a QC, the other other one is dead). What ever the answer is it’s a surprise to find such an epic gaff in The Times."
She then penned a letter (see below) to The Times outlining her complaint, before taking to Twitter to publicly drive the message home to the newspaper, via messages to its @TheTimes Twitter account...
Two days on, and the story (£), featuring Lucy Reed QC of St John’s Chambers in Bristol, remains on The Times’ website – as you can see from these screen shots:
Lost in the post? Lucy Reed's letter to The Times, as featured on her blog, pinktape.co.uk.
Dear Sir or Madam,
My attention has been drawn to an article on page 50 of today’s Times (26 March) which is entitled “Cherie Blair Plays Peacemaker in Indian Dynasty Feud”. It refers to me.
It states that I am a British QC practising from St John’s Chambers Bristol specialising in complex family disputes, that I am an arbitrator, and that I am a member of an arbitration panel dealing with the said dynasty feud.
I am a barrister practising from St John’s Chambers Bristol and I do specialise in family disputes. However I am neither a QC nor an arbitrator and have no knowledge of nor involvement with this dispute nor the arbitration of it. I am not instructed by any of the parties.
I do not wish my clients, my colleagues or my professional regulator to form the mistaken impression that I am holding myself as having experience or qualifications which I do not possess, nor that I would disclose confidential details of litigation or of any other dispute resolution process in which I was involved. I would like you to publish a correction please, stating that it is at my request.
I would also appreciate an explanation of how this error has arisen. My chambers advised me last week that a Robin Pagnamenta had rung wishing to speak to me, stating that he was a journalist from The Times but as he left only an international telephone number for Mumbai and appeared from a quick internet search to be your Energy and Environment correspondent (subjects about which I know little) I did not call him back. I left instructions to pass on my email address if he rang back, but he did not. I can only assume that he got my contact details from my chambers website and am therefore perplexed at how he came to be under the impression that I was a QC – the St John’s Chambers website does not have me listed as such.
I look forward to hearing from you.