Pupillage Vacancy Information
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 35 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 Sir James Dyson’s libel claim against Mirror Group over allegations of behaving hypocritically in the context of Brexit, the Laurence Fox Twitter trial, the Duke of Sussex’s privacy claims relating to the alleged hacking of his phone, Arron Banks’s libel claim against Carole Cadwalldr over his alleged financial ties to Russia, the ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case, the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy and copyright claim against Associated, the litigation concerning the ‘Putin’s People’ book, the Johnny Depp libel trial and the Cliff Richard privacy case against the BBC. In the last few years, members have represented parties on appeals to the Supreme Court relating to abuse of process in the context of libel (Mueen-Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Dept), the correct interpretation of s.3 of the Defamation Act 1952 in malicious falsehood cases (George v Cannell), the privacy of residents of apartments in the vicinity of the Tate Modern art gallery (Fearn v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery), serious harm to reputation (Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd), the public interest defence in defamation (Serafin v Malkiewicz), the reasonable expectation of privacy in information about criminal investigations (ZXC v Bloomberg LP) and vicarious liability in data protection law (WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants), as well as in many cases in the Court of Appeal. Several former members of 5RB have gone on to have successful judicial careers.
We are seeking to recruit up to 2 pupils to start in October 2025, 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, and we very much hope and expect that this will continue.
The pupillages will each carry an award of £50,000. A new tenant can expect their first-year earnings significantly to exceed this level.
5RB is a modern and inclusive chambers, committed to promoting equality and diversity at the bar. In particular we have a good gender balance at all levels of seniority and we subscribe to a number of schemes that are aimed at increasing access to the profession for candidates from under-privileged and under-represented backgrounds. We will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of pupils with a disability. Anyone considering applying for pupillage is welcome to contact our Equality and Diversity Officer, Aidan Eardley KC, in confidence, to discuss any issues they may have in accessing chambers.
2.Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please explain why you are interested in our areas of practice. (1,200 character limit).
3.Should the public be automatically excluded from sexual offences trials, at least until the defendant is convicted or acquitted? (1,250 character limit)