• An absolute leader in the field of Private Prosecutions, David Groome has an outstanding reputation having represented the interests of numerous multinational organisations in every major copyright and trade mark private prosecution in our jurisdiction.

    Private Prosecution 

    David Groome has conducted more than 50 private prosecutions concerning allegations of trade mark violation on behalf of major multinational corporate clients in music, film, sport and broadcast media, including: the Football Association Premier League; Federation Against Copyright Theft; Sky plc; The British Recorded Music Industry; Virgin Media plc; and BlackBerry Limited. 

    He has acted in the majority of intellectual property related private prosecutions over the last 10 years and has been at the forefront of almost every ground-breaking decision and prosecution success. He is unrivalled in experience, performance and results. 

    Reviews

    Chambers UK 2019: Media and Entertainment - Band 2

    Legal 500 2018: Media and Entertainment (Including Art and Cultural Property) - Tier 4

    'He is very good on his feet and his arguments are well thought through. He goes into things forensically and logically, and methodically dismantles the opposition's case.' Chambers UK (2018)

    'Expert in private criminal intellectual property infringement prosecutions.' Chambers UK (2017)

    'He has great breadth of knowledge and expertise in IP fraud.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'Huge breadth of knowledge and experience in the prosecution of IP fraud and related criminal offences.' Legal 500 (2016)

    'He gives high-quality strategic advice and works well as part of a team.' Legal 500 (2015)

    Education

    • LLB (Hons) (King's College, London)

     

    Privacy Notice

    Recent Cases

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    Articles

    • Prosecuting offences involving counterfeit goods

      Incorporating trademark offences, the Trademarks Act 1994, classification of trademarks, prosecuting copyright offences, the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 and prosecuting conspiracy to defraud

      View Article

  • Private Prosecutions

    Unrivalled knowledge of intellectual property infringement private prosecutions, David Groome is forensically astute, methodical in his preparation and dismantles the opposition’s case in and out of the court room.

    Overview 

    David Groome has conducted more than 50 private prosecutions concerning allegations of trade mark violation on behalf of major multinational corporate clients in music, film, sport and broadcast media, including: the Football Association Premier League; Federation Against Copyright Theft; Sky plc; The British Recorded Music Industry; Virgin Media plc; and BlackBerry Limited. 

    He has acted in the majority of intellectual property related private prosecutions over the last 10 years and has been at the forefront of almost every ground-breaking decision and prosecution success.   He is unrivalled in experience, performance and results. 

    Experience

    David has been involved in almost every major copyright and trade mark private prosecution brought in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He practises exclusively in this field and is recognised by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a leader.  He has trained the specialist fraud division of the CPS in the prosecution of complex intellectual property fraud as well as investigators at the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and numerous trading standards services.

    David was leading counsel for FACT in one of the most notable cases in this field: R v Anton Vickerman (2008-2012).  This was the first time that online piracy had been effectively prosecuted within the jurisdiction. Anton Vickerman, who set up and ran one of the world's most visited pirate websites "surfthechannel", attracting more than 400,000 visitors per day and generating advertising revenues of at least $50,000 per month, was found guilty of Conspiracy to Defraud by "facilitating" the infringement of copyright.  At its peak www.surfthechannel.com was the 500th most visited website globally and provided access to more than 5,000 pirated films and TV programmes.  The case was multi-jurisdictional and inherently complex; the website was controlled by Vickerman and run through a limited company, Scopelight Ltd, which funnelled profits to a bank account in Latvia.  This case is of huge significance in the field and was cited in the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s report: Supporting the creative economy.

    David also prosecuted successfully for FACT in R v Rafiq and others, a multi-million-pound fraud conspiracy using film 'release groups', the first such prosecution outside the US.  Release groups are underground online networks responsible for obtaining, encoding and distributing illegal digital copies of major motion pictures.  Many of the thousands of films they pirated and released online were on their cinema run, and the defendants were often responsible for uploading the very first illegal copy of a film on the Internet; the films targeted by these defendants included Skyfall and Argo.  This was the first ever prosecution of a release group outside the USA and only the second time such a group has been prosecuted anywhere in the world.  It resulted in prison sentences for all five defendants.  David was lead counsel for the prosecution.

    David has recently successfully prosecuted R v O’Reilly & O’Leary, the first UK/European case concerning the supplier of an IPTV (internet protocol television) system, whose operators defrauded UK and international broadcasters. The team prosecuted on behalf of the Football Association Premier League and Federation Against Copyright Theft; David was leading counsel.

    David was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland following his instruction by the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to prosecute film copyright and internet piracy cases. R -v- Hugh Reid and Marcus Lewis (2013-2014) and R -v- Mahoney (2015)

    More broadly he advises on designing and implementing private prosecution systems to reduce exposure to intellectual property theft.  He frequently speaks at seminars on private prosecution nationally and internationally.  He is held in the highest regard by industry bodies and corporates across the globe.

    Notable Cases

    R -v- Sohail Rafiq, Reece Baker, Graham Reid and Ben Cooper (2015) 
    Five receive prison sentences in private prosecution for illegal film distribution.

    R -v- Mahoney (2015) 
    A Northern Ireland man was sentenced to 4 years in prison at Londonderry Crown Court last week for running an internet piracy scam.

    Helidon Vuciterni (2014) 
    David Groome and Ari Alibhai acted for the Premier League in the successful prosecution today of Helidon Vuciterni.

    Dancing Jesus (aka: Kane Robinson -&- Richard Graham) (2014) 
    Private Prosecution success against Dancing Jesus website

    R -v- Danks (Philip) (2014) 
    Philip Danks, ringleader of a sophisticated online and filming piracy network, was sentenced to 33 months in prison at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

    R -v- Reid & Lewis - Araditracker (2013) 
    Instructed by Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland to prosecute in the alleged operation of the film torrent site Araditracker.

    R -v- Zinga (Munaf) (2013) 
    Private Prosecution (on behalf of Virgin Media Ltd) of importer and wholesaler of devices designed to defraud Virgin Media.

    R -v- Helidon Vuciterni (2013) 
    Private Prosecution (on behalf of FAPL) of defendant for alleged operation of a card-sharing network.

    R v Rayyonics Ltd (2012) 
    Illicit set-top box supplier. Rayyonics LTD designed, manufactured and imported the Eurovox series of television set-top-boxes, which, when programmed, enabled access to the entire Virgin Media subscription television service without payment. Zinga sold approximately 400,000 set-top-boxes in a conspiracy spanning some 3 years. The judge Ordered a £8.7 million confiscation order. 

    R v Vickerman (Anton) (2012) 
    Private Prosecution (on behalf of Federation Against Copyright Theft) of the most popular pirate film indexing site in the world.

    Reviews 

    Chambers UK 2019: Media and Entertainment - Band 2

    Legal 500 2018: Media and Entertainment (Including Art and Cultural Property) - Tier 4

    'He is very good on his feet and his arguments are well thought through. He goes into things forensically and logically, and methodically dismantles the opposition's case.' Chambers UK (2018)

    'Expert in private criminal intellectual property infringement prosecutions.' Chambers UK (2017)

    'He has great breadth of knowledge and expertise in IP fraud.' Legal 500 (2017)

    'Huge breadth of knowledge and experience in the prosecution of IP fraud and related criminal offences.' Legal 500 (2016)

    'He gives high-quality strategic advice and works well as part of a team.' Legal 500 (2015)

    Recent Cases

    News

    • Two men imprisoned for four-and-a-half years in IPTV private prosecution

      David Groome and Ari Alibhai were instructed by the Premier League. 

    • Two imprisoned for illegal harvesting and distribution of international premium sports broadcasts

      Terrence O'Reilly and William O'Leary were today sentenced to a combined total of 6 years' imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud following the conclusion of a private prosecution undertaken by QEB Hollis Whiteman members David Groome and Ari Alibhai on b...

    • David Groome and Ari Alibhai secure confiscation order for nearly £1m against directors of Digicam on behalf of FA Premier League and Sky

      At Guildford Crown Court today Deputy Circuit Judge Critchlow, formerly the Recorder of Guildford, ordered the directors of Digicam International Limited, Leon Passlow and Simon Hopkins, to pay almost £1 million following contested confiscation proceeding...

    • Groome & Alibhai - modern day Holmes & Watson?

      Edward Fennell, Times Law diarist, today compared David Groome and Ari Alibhai to famous sleuthing partnerships, Holmes & Watson and Poirot & Hastings. Commenting on their recent success on behalf of FACT (the Federation Against Copyright Theft) in the...