About us

5RB is a leading set of media and entertainment barristers with a proven track-record in defamation, privacy, confidence, intellectual property, sport and the human rights aspects of these areas of law.

Members of the set write or contribute to the leading textbooks in the field: Gatley on Libel and Slander; The Law of Privacy and the Media; Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt; Borrie & Lowe: The Law of Contempt; The Law of Photography and Digital Images; and Blackstone’s Guide to the Defamation Act (edited by James Price QC and Felicity McMahon).

The leading specialist media law reports, the Entertainment and Media Law Reports, published by Sweet & Maxwell, are edited by 5RB‘s Godwin Busuttil and former member of chambers HHJ Richard Parkes QC.

The set

There are presently 31 members of chambers, including 7 QCs, who have wide experience in all divisions of the High Court, and all appellate courts, including the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as in jurisdictions overseas. Junior tenants also appear regularly in county courts and employment tribunals and ‘libel read’ for newspapers and book publishers.

Members are used to being instructed at short notice to seek and resist pre-publication injunctions. They also appear in arbitrations and mediations and represent or advise clients before professional, regulatory and disciplinary tribunals, such as the Press Complaints Commission, OFCOM, the British Horseracing Authority and the Football Association. There are 4 accredited mediators in Chambers.

Members of chambers are comprised of 26 practising barristers resident in chambers, 5 practising barristers not resident in chambers and 3 associate member of chambers who are located abroad. Barristers practise as sole practitioners and are registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales. Barrister members offer their services in accordance with the Bar Standards Code of Conduct. The standard contractual terms on which services are provided can be found in Annex T of the Code.

Professional liability insurance

Barristers have professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited. The postal address of the Bar Mutual Management Company is 90 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4ST. Territorial coverage is world-wide, subject to the terms of cover of the Bar Mutual.

Types of work undertaken

As well as enjoying its pre-eminent reputation for defamation, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, malicious falsehood, trade libel and contempt of court, 5RB specialises across the broader spectrum of media, entertainment, intellectual property and sports law, including:

  • copyright
  • trade marks
  • design right
  • moral rights and performers’ rights
  • data protection
  • reporting restrictions
  • particularly in criminal
  • family and matrimonial proceedings
  • music, film, television, internet and book publishing and licensing
  • passing off
  • image rights
  • restraint of trade, particularly in sport and music
  • judicial review, particularly of regulatory decisions
  • hearings before regulatory bodies
  • EU and competition
  • regulatory multimedia, broadcasting and telecommunications
  • freedom of information
  • the internet, including domain name disputes
  • trespass and protection from harassment
  • professional negligence, specifically lawyers’ negligence where the underlying claim was in defamation
  • human rights aspects of all these areas of law.

 Public Access

Most members of 5RB can now be instructed directly by members of the public without a solicitor under the Bar Council’s ‘Public Access’ scheme. Solicitors and members of the Licensed Access scheme (formerly BarDIRECT and Direct Professional Access) can instruct any member of 5RB.

Please contact the clerks if you are interested in instructing any member of 5RB. More information is available on our public access page. Further information about the Public Access and Licensed Access schemes can be obtained from the Bar Council, while details of appropriate solicitors’ firms can be obtained from the Law Society.

 Services available to overseas clients

Barristers of 5RB provide advocacy and advisory services direct to overseas lawyers, corporate clients and individuals in various countries including the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Nigeria, and the West Indies.

We can

  • be instructed directly for timely, cost-effective advisory services within our specialist areas of law in England and Wales and the European Court of Human Rights;
  • advise and assist in litigation preparation;
  • provide specialist advice and assistance on the drafting, interpretation and enforceability of contracts governed by the law of England and Wales and other common law countries;
  • provide a 24/7 rapid response for all your pre-publication and urgent injunction issues;
  • provide mediation, alternative dispute resolution and arbitration services.

We understand how important it is to establish a relationship prior to need; therefore we encourage you to contact us to learn how we can help you before the need arises.

 Availability

We offer a 24/7 service with a clerk and at least two barristers on call at all times. The clerks’ room is open from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Friday.