Professor Kim Lovegrove, Partner has been at the vanguard of law reform. He has headed up teams and consultancies at
State, National and Inter jurisdictional level and has chaired and/or spoken at numerous conferences on law reform topics.
The law reform initiatives that he has had key involvement with or carriage of are as follows:
The introduction of proportionate liability and the removal of joint and several liability. The National Model Building Act "NMBA" incorporated the first ever Southern Hemisphere
proportionate liability provisions in Australia. Proportionate liability replaced the application of the doctrine of joint and several liability as a liability apportionment doctrine. The reforms
were designed to allocate responsibility and accountability more equitably as between defendants, they were complemented by compulsory insurance. The reforms were pioneering and were a forerunner to
the wholesale application of proportionate liability tort reform in Australia early third millennium.
10 YEAR LIABILITY CAPPING
The "liabilities decennial" approach, a French based 10 year liability capping concept was imported to Australia. The purpose of which was to establish a clear start and completion date for
the initiation and conclusion of legal proceedings. Prior to the implementation of these reforms, the time upon which one had to initiate legal proceedings in building matters was uncertain if not
infinite. The reforms overcame this problem by the imposition of a clear statutory limitation period of 10 years, beginning on the date upon which a building permit is issued and concluding 10 years
hence to the day.
A PRACTITIONER REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The NMBA established the "regulatory blueprint" for the establishment of a registration system for building practitioners. The Model was applied "to the letter" in Victoria and the NT where
both regimes register all building practitioners. In Victoria there are 22,000 registrants. The system was designed to ensure that practitioners with recognized qualifications, experience and
insurance could be registered to bring to bear more professionalism and accountability in the building industry. The system also imposes education prerequisites and practitioner misconduct
COMPULSORY INSURANCE SYSTEM
Again Professor Lovegrove, his team and fellow civil servants drove the establishment of a system of compulsory
insurance for practitioners in the Building industry to improve consumer protection and practitioner solvency. Under this system engineers, builders, building surveyors and inspectors, quantity
surveyors and draftsperson have to be insured.
EFFICIENT & FAST TRACK DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYSTEMS
The NMBA and the Building Act both established fast track dispute resolution regimes for practitioner conduct enquiries and building permit appeals.
MICRO ECONOMIC REFORM &EXPIDITED BUILDING APPROVAL SYSTEMS
Again the NMBA and the Building Act VIC come to mind. To reduce permit turnaround time and the holding costs associated with building permit delays, the team devised the private certification
system. The public could either engage a private building surveyor or a council surveyor to issue building permits. 12 years on this system has become entrenched and has become a mature and highly
efficient permit regime, all Australian jurisdictions bar one - WA, have introduced private certification.
The particular retainers that Kim has had carriage of are as follows:
FEDERAL / NATIONAL (early nineties)
The National Model Building Act
This project was probably the most important building regulatory overhaul instrument in Australian the last 20 years. Kim was appointed to head up the team that developed a National Model
Regulatory framework based on world`s best practices. The nine Australian Governments through the Australian Uniform Building Regulatory Coordinating Counsel (AUBRCC) via a National tender
process ended up engaging a team headed up by Kim. The team`s mission was to develop a uniform model Building template, based on worlds best practices to operate as a model regulatory template or
The Model did indeed become the reform blue print for building regulation in 7 Australian jurisdictions. In his capacity as project director, Kim worked closely with the Chief Parliamentary
Counsels Committee and was instrumental in garnishing the sanction of the standing Committee of Attorneys General and the relevant Ministers responsible for building regulation. These reforms drove
liability reform, expedited building dispute resolution and best practice registration systems. The concepts have been followed to significant but varying degrees in Vic ( adopted all reforms),
NT ( adopted all reforms), ACT, Queensland, Tasmania & NSW ( substantial adoption).
NSW ( late nineties )
Retained by the Department of Local Government (New South Wales) to advise on the establishment of an auditing system under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).
Kim was retained by the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (New South Wales) to advise on the drafting of insurance regulations under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Amendment)
Act 1997 (NSW).
That year Kim addressed a forum at a venue at House of Commons in London on liability and insurance reforms in Australia. The audience comprised members of the English forum for construction
law reform and was chaired by Tony Baldry MP.
Liability and micro economic reforms
Retained by the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (New South Wales) to advise on the drafting of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Amendment) Act 1997 (NSW), which effected major
reform of the building regulatory system in that state. Many of the recommendations in the report that Kim prepared were adopted and found their way into Part 4 of the EPAA, namely
proportionate liability, 10 year liability capping, the introduction of private certification and a registration system for building practitioners.
VICTORIA (early nineties & 2007)
The Building Act 1993
Instructing Officer to Parliamentary Counsel on development of Building Act 1993; whole Act reform, based on the National Model Building Act. Professor Lovegrove as a consultant and civil servant had substantial involvement in policy development and augmentation of
this Act. It introduced proportionate liability, 10 year liability capping, private certification, a compulsory insurance and registration system and efficient one stop shop dispute
Amendments to Functions and Objects of the Building Act 1993 (2007)
Kim was engaged to advise on changes to the objectives and functions powers of the Building Act 1993.
HOW CAN YOU AND WHO SHOULD YOU ENGAGE US?
We are happy to accept law reform or micro-economic reform retainers from state/territory governments and on or off shore jurisdictions. Our experience is rather unique in that we have had
carriage of paramount and far reaching law reform initiatives and have developed the project management skills on point.
Be it comparative research, development of best practice and most economically sustainable holistic regulatory systems, regulatory review and improvement or coordination of law reform media
strategies we have the skills and the track record to prove our credentials and we welcome inquiries. Should you wish to find out more about us contact Professor Kim Lovegrove on 03 9600 1643.
The Lovegrove Solicitors E - Library
There are over 200 articles on the Lovegrove Soilicitors E - Library. To access articles pertaining to Lovegrove Solicitors
participation in law reform and other topics click E - Library.