5RB is the leading set specialising in all areas of media and communications law, including defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, data protection and information law, harassment, contempt of court and reporting restrictions. We are the only chambers to specialise exclusively in this fascinating field. Our 33 full-time members act for both claimants and defendants and provide advice and representation to the press, television, radio, book and online publishers, as well as to individuals including celebrities and other high-profile people, businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
Our members are regularly instructed in the most prominent and groundbreaking cases, recent examples of which include the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy and copyright claim, the Duke of Sussex’s libel claim about his security arrangements, the litigation concerning the ‘Putin’s People’ book, the Johnny Depp libel case, the Cliff Richard privacy case and the ongoing phone hacking litigation. In the last few years, members have represented parties on appeals to the Supreme Court relating to serious harm to reputation (Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd), the public interest defence in defamation (Serafin v Malkiewicz), vicarious liability in data protection law (WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants) and the reasonable expectation of privacy in information about criminal investigations (ZXC v Bloomberg LP), as well as in many cases in the Court of Appeal. Several former members of 5RB have gone on to successful judicial careers.
We are seeking to recruit up to 2 pupils to start in October 2024, each with a view to tenancy. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate very high intellectual ability, usually via academic achievement, and excellent interpersonal and advocacy skills (written and oral). We look for applicants with an aptitude for, and an interest in, practice as a barrister in our specialist areas; however prior knowledge of the law in these areas is not a requirement.
Pupils at 5RB benefit from spending periods with four different pupil supervisors, seeing a variety of styles and perspectives and receiving expert tuition in practice in media and communications law, including advocacy. We are proud of maintaining a very friendly and collegiate atmosphere, and that extends to how we interact with our pupils: we see pupillage very much as a learning experience rather than a gruelling examination, although pupils will need to demonstrate the high level of skills and conduct necessary for a successful practice if they are to be taken on as a tenant. The vast majority of our pupils in the past decade have been recruited as tenants (12/15) and we very much hope and expect that this will continue.
The pupillages will carry an award of £40,000. A new tenant can expect their first year earnings to significantly exceed this level.
All applications for pupillage must be made via the Pupillage Gateway, which closes on 8 February 2023.