Business Analysis

Dominique Grubisa peddles legal product while not entitled to practice

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(Image by Dan Jensen)

Dominique Grubisa, not entitled to practice law, continues peddling her asset protection ‘product’. However, she's all over the place about who is doing what, as IA reports.

IMAGINE THIS. You see ads for a webinar and you sign up. In the webinar, you get a sales pitch about how you can cure yourself of illness. The person making the claims is not a practising doctor. The company she represents is not a medical practice. She tells you she is not a practising doctor. However, you are told if you follow what she says and have an operation, your health will be “secure” forever.

You pay your money, fill out a questionnaire and are introduced to a surgeon who will do an operation. The catch is, in the fine print, it says the surgeon is acting as the doctor for the salesperson. Not for you. 

The fine print says no doctor/patient relationship is created between you and the surgeon. Further, the surgeon won’t give you any advice, won’t run any tests and won’t consider your personal health circumstances. That’s at odds with what you are told in the webinar. You are told you will receive a written plan of advice.

You don’t just have to decide whether you have the operation (which you would expect would be based on a diagnosis and an informed decision), but whether you need the operation at all, what the risks are and what the outcome will be isn't told in the webinar. Again, it’s in the fine print. But you’ve paid your money.  

The fine print says the surgeon won’t be able to give you any advice — again, at odds with the claim you get a written plan. You will simply have to rely upon the word of the salesperson that having the operation will cure you. The salesperson is already the subject of court proceedings by a regulator who alleges her claims are false and/or misleading. However, she again claims your health will be protected for life. The surgeon is only doing the operation so that the company can provide “services” to you.   

Again, buried in the fine print is a statement that the company represented by the salesperson takes directions from you after you have decided what is “appropriate for your interests” and specific situation and requirements. It goes on to say only you can make decisions about what is most appropriate for you, your family and your circumstances. But to get to this point, you’ve paid your money.

The surgeon has no “engagement with you” in respect of your health considerations. Where information is provided to you, whether it is provided in response to your questions or enquiries, that information is not medical advice. Again, this is at odds with the claims in the webinar.  

You also discover the fine print says you are responsible for whether the operation will have the effect you hope for. But without any advice from the surgeon. Whether the operation is necessary or appropriate or will have any impact, is on you. The surgeon’s duty is to the company represented by the salesperson, not to you.

Can you imagine any of this happening or medical regulators not shutting down such a scheme immediately?

Welcome to the latest in the life of self-proclaimed asset protection specialist Dominique Grubisa; her company, Master Wealth Control Pty Ltd (trading as DG Institute); the law firm Assure Lawyers Pty Ltd (formerly known as DGI Lawyers); and Murphy Lyons Lawyers.

Confronted with legal action after legal action about her claims and services, Grubisa continues to double down. Last week, there was a direction hearing in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) in relation to two cases brought against Grubisa by the Council of the Law Society of NSW.   

Grubisa and MWC are also respondents to a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleging false and misleading claims in relation to Grubisa’s asset protection program and her Real Estate Rescue program. 

Who is representing Grubisa and MWC in the ACCC case? None other than James Lyons, as the sole director of Assure Lawyers. The case has been set down for a five-day hearing in the Federal Court in Sydney commencing on 18 March next year. Last week, Lyons, for Assure Lawyers, signed off on a “Statement of Agreed Facts” filed in the Federal Court.

Grubisa’s webinar didn’t involve a pitch of medical advice or a surgeon, but a pitch for MWC’s asset protection program. What used to be called her Master Wealth Control “Vestey Trust” scheme, and then “Asset Armour” has had yet another name change. Now it is branded as “Asset Guard”.

In June, we reported that Grubisa was touring the country flogging her Real Estate Rescue program. In between Brisbane and Melbourne seminars, Grubisa hosted a full-day webinar on 22 July. It was in this webinar (from around 1 hour and 15 minutes in) that Grubisa was flogging her asset protection program. We suspect the pitch may have been made at the live seminars as well. Grubisa has another full-day webinar on 16 September.

Murphy Lyons Lawyers is the trading name of James William Lyons. Lyons is also the sole director of Assure Lawyers. Lyons also represented Grubisa’s father in a case brought against him by the Law Society of NSW which led to him being struck off as a solicitor. Lyons also represented Grubisa’s mother in a case involving the Law Society. Grubisa’s father was struck off as a solicitor in 2012 and her mother struck off in 2013. Grubisa’s parents pretended to be his law firm years after they were struck off. Lyons did nothing about that.

Instead, when Zeeshaan Nordien, then sole director and 50 per cent shareholder in Assure Lawyers, jumped ship last year, Lyons replaced Nordien and acquired his shareholding.

In her webinar, Grubisa trotted out her regular claims that:

  • by having a trust (a friendly creditor) put a caveat on the client’s title, the equity in the property is “soaked up”;
  • this is the client’s “get out of gaol card”;
  • the one trust will protect the client’s worldwide wealth;
  • it’s reverse engineering any way that a creditor could get at the client;
  • anything that the client has now is really preserved through the trust for their family, not for creditors;
  • it’s shutting the gate for everyone else;
  • it’s custom-built for the client’s situation; and
  • it protects and preserves what the client has to lose.

Grubisa told the viewers that Assure Lawyers will do all of this for you. They will provide a personalised advice for your situation. 

She went on to claim that “the concept” had been tested in the Full Court of the Federal Court in the case of Sharrment.

In its media statement about the proceedings brought against Grubisa and MWC, the ACCC said that Sharrment:

‘...does not provide authoritative precedent or support for the legitimacy or effectiveness of the Vestey Trust structure in protecting assets from creditors.’

Despite claiming in the webinar that it is Assure Lawyers that will prepare the documents for the client and give the client a personalised written plan, the fine print says that Murphy Lyons prepares the documents and cannot give the client legal advice.

That document says that Murphy Lyons:

  • has a single client in relation to legal services provided pursuant to the asset protection program, that client being MWC (Grubisa’s company);
  • is not engaged to provide legal services to the ‘client’;
  • is not responsible for the contents of any document forming part of any service requested by the ‘client’; and
  • provides legal services to MWC, solely for the purpose of MWC providing service to the ‘client’.

How can MWC, not a law firm, provide services to “clients” that involve the drafting of a will, trust deed, mortgage and other documents that are apparently bespoke to the client? Who is liable if the advice is wrong? What insurance is in place?

Does Lyons really think that Assure Lawyers, or he as Murphy Lyons Lawyers, has no duty to those for whom he is drafting specific legal documents and presumably receiving payment?

Who is it that provides the advice in the personalised plan?

Why is Grubisa, who is not entitled to practice law, doing webinars making representations on behalf of Assure Lawyers? Does Lyons stand by her claims?  

Does Lyons tell those for whom he is drawing up legal documents that Grubisa and MWC are the subject of Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC, that the ACCC is seeking compensation for those who have purchased the asset protection “product” and that Lyons is representing Grubisa and MWC in that matter?

What on Earth is going on at the offices of the Law Society of NSW? We suggest they come out of their building, turn left, go from their office at 170 Phillip Street, the short distance to 184 Phillip Street (the NSW Supreme Court) and seek and apply for an injunction to protect the public.

When will this circus be stopped?

Editor's Note: This article was originally published under the title ‘Dominique Grubisa dabbles in law despite zero qualifications’. IA acknowledges that Dominique Grubisa was formerly a practising solicitor and barrister but since June 2022 has not been entitled to practice law in accordance with this statement from the Victorian Legal Services Board & Commissioner's Office. 

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