Law Analysis

NSW Law Society fails to protect public from predatory Grubisa

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The NSW Law Society needs to step up in bringing down Dominique Grubisa's predatory practices (Image by Dan Jensen)

Despite experts saying her claims are false, Dominique Grubisa is still doing multiple webinars each week telling people how she can instantly quarantine their assets. David Donovan reports.

SELF-PROFESSED property maven Dominique Grubisa uses fear to sell her wares, sending out emails forecasting doom.   

A recent email headed ‘Beware: Danger Ahead’ forecast that:

‘For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, those in the developed world are about to be forced to get by without the bare necessities.’

The catastrophe, Grubisa proclaimed:

...inspired the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, to announce that it was the perfect opportunity to implement “The Great Reset”. 

 

This was meant to be the Fourth Industrial Revolution to transform society into a top-down technocracy (a system where unelected experts rule over society, aided by artificial intelligence).

These words and much more of Grubisa’s email were ripped straight out of an article by Brian Chu, published by the website Daily Reckoning. Grubisa’s plagiarism continues.

In her most recent ‘Inside Scoop’ email to her public, Grubisa says she has been studying ‘ways for businesses to beat the system’.  

Grubisa comments about how she has noticed an increase in businesses having a hard time with cash flow, labour shortages and debt that was deferred but not forgiven.

Grubisa tells the reader, ‘all of this can be avoided (but not by following the other sheep)’. Grubisa says there are some hacks and loopholes she is researching and collating and to watch this space.

We expect this is a warm-up to her upcoming webinar called Recession Readiness Summit on 19 November — no doubt another opportunity to flog her asset protection claims to the public.       

Grubisa also told her readers she has read The Wall, a book by Ant Middleton, a former soldier and marine and former instructor on UK TV show SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Grubisa tells her audience:

‘I need books like this when I get complacent and don’t push the boundaries of my comfort zone.’

She continues:

‘We care too much what others think and we all too often play way too small.’

We don’t think trying to “beat the system” or pushing boundaries has ever been a problem for Grubisa. In our next story, we don the scuba gear to do a deep dive into one case of fraudulent behaviour in Grubisa’s business.

Grubisa is no longer entitled to engage in legal practice. But it hasn’t stopped her from flogging the same product to the public.

Perhaps it’s time for Grubisa to actually care about what others think, especially when it involves the life savings of the people she has misled.

In April, the Financial Review reported that the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA) reported their concerns regarding Grubisa’s asset protection claims to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in September 2019. 

As we have previously reported, the NSW Law Society has known about Grubisa’s false claims for well over three-and-a-half years. IA first wrote about Grubisa’s asset protection snake oil in February of last year.

Not only is Grubisa doubling down with her claims, the company that flogs the asset protection product is not a law firm. Her company, Master Wealth Control, which takes money from the public, is not a qualified entity under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014 (NSW).  

Money paid for a legal service in advance of that service being provided has not been into a law firm trust account, but rather squirrelled away by Grubisa.

Again, serious questions have to be asked about the NSW Law Society’s failure to deal with this issue, having been alerted to this issue more than three-and-a-half years ago.

In a case before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in 2020, Justice Martin Daubney said:

‘It is essential for clients to be able to have utmost faith and confidence in their solicitors when entrusting the solicitors with their money. It is similarly vital, in order to maintain public confidence in the profession, that solicitors ensure that monies paid to them are strictly accounted for, strictly traceable and strictly dealt with according to law.’

So why then has the NSW Law Society allowed money for Grubisa’s asset protection product, paid in advance of services provided, to be paid to a company that is not a law firm rather than deposited into the trust account of a law firm?

Some very serious questions have to be asked about why the legal regulators in NSW have failed to act. We are not Robinson Crusoe in holding that view. 

With Grubisa back spruiking her asset protection product to the public once again, Max Mason at the Financial Review recently pondered whether in relation to the NSW Law Society’s function to protect the public ‘if it does what it says on the tin’.

Not only do they have a professional obligation but the legal regulators also have a clear statutory obligation as well.

Section 317 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law which regulates the conduct of lawyers in NSW says that it is the duty of the regulatory authority to:

‘...deal with complaints (including the conduct of any investigations) as efficiently and expeditiously as is practicable.’

Have the regulators acted expeditiously? We think not.

In a tweet in October, the CEO of ARITA, John Winter, expressed his bewilderment as to why more action isn’t being taken, including by legal regulators.

Winter also expressed his views on LinkedIn in response to a comment from a Queensland-based lawyer.

(Source: LinkedIn)

When the CEO of another professional association is speaking up publicly about the failure of legal regulators, we think it’s time for the staff of the NSW Law Society and the NSW Legal Services Commissioner to take note. Very serious questions need to be asked about what is going on in these offices. Especially when it’s clear that Grubisa is misleading the public. 

In 2009, the Victorian Ombudsman reported on an own-motion investigation into the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner’s office following 95 complaints to the Ombudsman about that office. The Ombudsman’s report on that investigation wasn’t made public but was referred to in the Ombudsman’s annual report for 2008-09.

Stephen Warne, barrister and author of lawyerslawyer.net blog, commented about the findings of the Ombudsman in a post on 22 September 2009.

The post quotes the Ombudsman’s report saying:

The Legal Services Commissioner’s investigators showed limited knowledge of the basic techniques of investigative processes. Case files lacked:

 

• investigation plans;
• thorough and professional approaches to gathering evidence;
• follow-up on serious allegations;
• substantiating documents such as practitioners’ files;
• timely conclusions;
• verification of practitioners’ responses; and
• reasons for decisions.

As we reported in February last year, correspondence from the NSW Law Society showed that Grubisa claimed her asset protection product (which includes drafting of a will, mortgage trust deed and other documents), ‘is not a product or services provided by her or DGI Lawyers as legal representatives’.

A cursory glance at archives of the website for DG Institute would show that Grubisa promoted the service as a legal one.

Had anyone at the NSW Law Society bothered to watch Grubisa’s asset protection webinar that featured on YouTube for years until being taken down in December 2020, they would have heard Grubisa say:

This is a done-for-you legal service.

 

So, we’ve got Australia-wide legal practice, national practice and we build this for you.

 

And I set my legal team in action for you. So national practice, we build the invisible force field around everything.

 

You won’t get this anywhere from a lawyer. They have billable hours. But for me in this situation, this is a flat fee for holistic protection for life.

So how on Earth could the NSW Law Society draw the conclusion that Grubisa wasn’t promoting the product as a legal service? Do they have limited knowledge of basic techniques of the investigation process as was suggested about Victorian regulators in 2009? The information was there for them on her website and on YouTube. 

IA understands the NSW Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints about legal regulators in NSW, as it is an excluded matter under the Ombudsman Act 1974. So there won’t be any joy for the frustrated victims of Grubisa who lodged complaints with legal regulators years ago.

We know Grubisa will care little about what others think. But perhaps it is time for the legal regulators in NSW to care. And perhaps time for some parliamentary oversight.

Perhaps it’s time for the Honourable Mark Speakman SC MP, the Attorney-General and hence first law officer of the State of NSW, to initiate an inquiry into the handling of complaints by the OLSC and NSW Law Society.

Follow IA founder David G Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Also, follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

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