About Lovegrove & Cotton
A Firm History and Background
This construction law firm was established in Melbourne in 1993. It has thirty years of heritage.
That which is unique about Lovegrove and Cotton
There are those within Lovegrove and Cotton that have had a profound impact in the development of modern day building law.
Law reform in Australia
The founder headed up the team that developed the National Model Building Act, that became the template for modern day building control regulation in a number of Australian jurisdictions. Subsequently said founder was retained by the Victorian government as the instructing officer to parliamentary counsel for the development of the Building Act 1993.
The NMBA reforms that were picked up in reforming jurisdictions included:
- The first ever proportionate liability regimes in the Southern Hemisphere
- Ten year liability capping
- Centralised governmental registration of key building practitioners
- Compulsory insurance of same
- The privatised alternative for building permit delivery
International influence on the development of building regulation
The founder on two occasions was retained by the Japanese government to advise on amendments to the Japanese building standard law to bring on board international best practice approaches to building law.
World Bank retainers
Professor Lovegrove MSE, RML, was retained by the World Bank as a senior law reform advisor to advise reforming jurisdictions on international best practice approaches to building control and building regulation. In this capacity, the deployments included the following jurisdictions:
- Malawi (Southern Africa)
- Mumbai and New Delhi
- Shanghai government
- Beijing government
The International Building Quality Centre (IBQC)
The law firm still maintains a strong commitment to international best practice law reform as the founder is the chair of the IBQC. Further, two of our members of staff are heavily involved in the IBQC committees that are developing best practice approaches to the streamlining of construction dispute resolution theatres. Further the law firm is providing the secretariat to an IBQC committee that is developing best practice approaches to codified risk classification of buildings.
Very few law firms would have been involved in both the design of the law and the application and interpretation of the law. This firm does and has done so for three decades.
Pre-eminence in expertise
Justin Cotton, Director and head of practitioner advocacy at Lovegrove & Cotton, is a preeminent Australian construction lawyer and his expertise is widely respected in the building fraternity in the Eastern seaboard. Justin who has twenty years experience in construction and planning law is the Chairperson of the HIA Industrial Relations and Legal Services Committee, and member of the Regional Executive Committee, for the HIA Victorian Chapter. Justin is the firm’s senior litigator and supervises all of the construction and planning lawyers in the law firm.
Justin also has a particular expertise in acting for strata communities in the resolution of complex and high dollar value multi-unit development claims and is one of the leading cladding dispute resolution lawyers in Victoria.
Adjunct Professor Kim Lovegrove MSE, RML
Kim Lovegrove is a Senior Construction lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in the field. His expertise has been recognised at local, national and international levels. Kim has been a Senior Consultant with the World Bank in the building law reform space. He is currently the Chairman of the International Building Quality Centre, is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and a conjoint Professor at the University of Western Sydney School of Law.
Kim represented the Federal Government as the Deputy Executive Director of the ABCB. He was a guest of the Japanese government addressing a Ministerial Forum charged with the overhauling of Japanese building regulations. He also addressed the English Forum for Construction Law Reform at a venue in the House of Commons in the late nineties.
For fear of labouring the point, this firm possesses a level of expertise that has contributed to the legal fabric of the construction industry and modern day building regulation in Australia and internationally. This is a key indicator of the benchmarks and standard of excellence at Lovegrove & Cotton.
We have evolved into a practice that provides expertise in all facets of construction law, including but not limited to:
- regulatory law reform
- building contractual advice
- security of payment claims
- practitioner licensing and conduct matters
- cladding rectification matters and disputes
- dispute resolution for large to medium cases
- the resolution of body corporate disputes
- planning law
- owners corporation class actions
- leaky building claims
- strata communities
We act for a range of clients, including large corporations and institutions, small-to-medium enterprises, sole practitioners and consumers. The common thread that defines what we do and who we act for is: people and organisations that need top quality, construction related legal expertise.