Kim Lovegrove FAIB and past President Northern Chapter New Zealand Institute of Building, is a past Conjoint Professor in building regulations and has been at the vanguard of construction law and law reform for years and a consultant with World Bank. 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.
In the early 90s Lovegrove headed up a team that generated the Australian National Model Building Act, which became the law reform template for modern day building control in most Australian jurisdictions. In the late 90s he was invited by Lord Tony Baldry, the then chairman of the English Forum for Construction Law Reform, to address the forum at a venue at the House of Commons on the said law reform initiative and world’s best practice building control.
In 2013 he was invited to participate in a building law reform think tank by the team that was charged with carriage of the reform to the Japanese Building Act in Tokyo. He was the sole antipodean representative invited to participate in the regulatory review think tank. Lovegrove has an international reputation for world’s best practice and holistic building regulatory law reform.
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 disciplinary systems.
Compulsory Insurance System
Again Kim Lovegrove and 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 and 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 and Expedited 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 Lovegrove has had carriage of are as follows:
Federal / National (early 90s)
The National Model Building Act
This project was probably the most important building regulatory overhaul instrument in Australian the last 20 years. Lovegrove 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 Lovegrove. 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 blue print.
The Model did indeed become the reform blue print for building regulation in 7 Australian jurisdictions. In his capacity as project director, Lovegrove 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 Victoria (adopted all reforms), Northern Territory (adopted all reforms), Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales (substantial adoption).
New South Wales (late 90s)
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 Lovegrove 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 Lovegrove 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 Lovegrove 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 90s & 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. Kim Lovegrove F.A.I.B. 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 resolution.
Amendments to Functions and Objects of the Building Act 1993 (2007)
Kim Lovegrove was engaged to advise on changes to the objectives and functions powers of the Building Act 1993.
Law Reform Think Tanks
In the mid nineties, Kim Lovegrove was invited as a guest of the Japanese government to participate in a law reform think tank to advise the government on best practice building regulation and advances on point. Kim represented the Australian Federal Government in this endeavour and a number of his recommendations were implemented by the Japanese law reformers and policy advisers. In 2013, Kim Lovegrove, this time in a private capacity, was invited again to advise a law reforming think tank on best practice building regulation.
In June 2016 Kim Lovegrove addressed a forum at the World Bank in Washington DC on ‘best practice building control and lessons learnt and observed in 20 years of evolution in modern day building control in the Antipodes’. Kim Lovegrove is increasingly devoting more time to off shore deployments with respect to best practice building control advisory initiatives.
Engagement and Deployment
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.