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 area. Our 35 full-time members act for both claimants and defendants and provide advice and representation to the press, television, radio, books and online publishers, as well as to celebrities and other individuals, businesses and not-for-profit entities.

Our members are regularly instructed in the most high-profile and groundbreaking cases, recent examples of which include the Johnny Depp libel trial, the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy and copyright claim, the litigation concerning the book ‘Putin’s People’, the Morrisons data breach, the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel claim, the ongoing phone hacking litigation, and the Supreme Court decisions on serious harm to reputation (Lachaux v Independent & Evening Standard) and the public interest defence to defamation (Serafin v Malkiewicz). Several former members of 5RB have gone on to successful careers on the Bench, including the inaugural Judge in charge of the Media & Communications List, Warby J (now Warby LJ); the current Judge in charge of that List, Nicklin J; HHJ Parkes QC; and former media law judges Sir Charles Gray and Sir Michael Tugendhat.

We are seeking to recruit up to 2 pupils, with a view to tenancy, starting in October 2023. 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. Pupils will nonetheless need to demonstrate the very high level of skill and conduct necessary for a successful practice if they are to be taken on as tenants. The vast majority of our pupils in the past decade have been recruited as tenants (12 of 14), and we hope and expect that to 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 9 February 2022.

For further information on pupillage at 5RB, please see the further information on our Recruitment pages, and our Pupillage Policy.