"Distressed estates" maven Dominique Grubisa resides and practices law in NSW but relies on a Victorian practising certificate. Should she be struck off the roll?
ON THURSDAY 25 MARCH 2021, the NSW Court of Appeal handed down a decision in a case of the Council of the New South Wales Bar Association v. Siggins. In that case, the Court of Appeal determined that Julian Phillip Siggins be removed from the roll of legal practitioners due to not being a “fit and proper person”. The case related to statements made regarding the principal place of practice of a barrister who resided in NSW, but relied upon a practising certificate issued in Queensland.
Independent Australia has previously reported about the activities of Mrs Dominique Grubisa, a NSW-based solicitor who makes millions advising her students to seek out “distressed assets” and who claims to be able to protect assets from creditors, lawyers and even the government.
A screenshot from the website of the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner’s website shows Grubisa as being a principal with a trust account, practising as DGI Lawyers Pty Ltd, at Southbank, Victoria.
In fact, Mrs Grubisa resides in North Turramurra, and operates an incorporated legal practice called DGI Lawyers Pty Ltd, whose offices are in St Martins Tower in Market Street, Sydney.
Prior to setting up her incorporated legal practice, on 27 July 2017, Mrs Grubisa traded as a sole practitioner.
According to Mrs Grubisa’s letterhead her mailing address was in NSW, with the Victorian address merely being that of a serviced office.
GRUBISA'S HISTORY PRACTISING UNDER NON-NSW CERTIFICATES
In a post on the property investment forums section of the Somersoft website from 17 March 2014, Mrs Grubisa claimed that she held a practising certificate as a barrister in Queensland. Yet the phone number to which people were referred was that of her Sydney office. Was Queensland her principal place of practice at the time? If so, this is at odds with her ASIC records from that time.
When her company Master Wealth Control Pty Ltd (then known as Australian Debt Purchasers Pty Ltd) was established in 2010, ASIC records showed her address as being at Bigola, NSW.
On 13 March 2014, documents were lodged with ASIC to notify of a change of address for Mrs Grubisa.
That notification referred to a change of address, to Mrs Grubisa’s current address in North Turramurra.
Four days after this notification to ASIC, Grubisa responded to comments about concerns about her activities on somersoft.com.au as follows:
An ABN search of Mrs Grubisa’s personal ABN shows her main business location at Sydney NSW 2000. An historical search of her ABN shows her main business location as being in the postcode 2000 from 1 April 2000, then NSW 2017 from 21 May 2010 to 8 August 2019, reverting to postcode 2000 from then on.
An ABN search of her incorporated legal practice, DGI Lawyers Pty Ltd, shows only a NSW, 2000 postcode.
Why is it, then, that Grubisa holds a practising certificate in Victoria? How was she able to obtain a practising certificate as a barrister in Queensland in 2014 if she was living in NSW?
Given the many complaints about her conduct to regulators, why has this issue not been dealt with?
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