NSW Building industry reforms and NSW Division AGM 2020

Wotton + Kearney will be presenting on the likely impact of the new NSW Building industry reforms, and specifically the following two new Acts: 1) Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020; and 2) Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020.


AAS NSW division is inviting you to a presentation by Rob Finnigan (Partner, Wotton + Kearney), Caitilin Watson (Special Counsel, Wotton + Kearney) and Chris Knight (Senior Associate, Wotton + Kearney) on the NSW Building industry reforms.

Wotton + Kearney’s review of the NSW Government’s legislative reaction to the “building crisis” -  including the new 10 year retrospective duty of care for building professionals

The evacuations of high rise apartment buildings in Sydney (eg Mascot and Opal Towers) publicised underlying concerns about the quality of high residential developments.

State governments have come under increased pressure to react to what has been termed an Australia wide “building crisis”.

The NSW Government has enacted sweeping legislative changes, appointed a building commissioner, increased the accountability of building practitioners, and enhanced protections and legal remedies available to home owners when building defects become apparent. These changes have shifted the liability landscape in the construction sector so that enforcement and legal actions can be taken directly against a wider range of building professionals.

New Legislation

In the presentation, Wotton + Kearney will discuss the likely impact of the new regime, and specifically the following two new Acts:

  • Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020; and
  • Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020.

The most significant change in the law is the introduction of a new duty of care for building professionals, which applies retrospectively for up to 10 years. The liability permutations of the retrospective duty of care could be enormous for building professionals.


Wotton + Kearney’s presentation will elaborate on the issues set out in its recent publications and include the following:

  • how will the process of mandatory compliance declarations be enforced?
  • how will the retrospective operation of the statutory duty of care apply in practice? Will current proceedings be amended to plead this statutory duty of care?  Will more defendants be added to litigation?
  • how do construction professionals comply with the mandatory requirement to be adequately insured against “any liability” in the face of non-conforming product exclusions and other exclusions?
  • the building commissioner’s powers.


Please join us online for the presentation on 1 December 2020 at 5:00pm for these events. Live streaming is available for registered AAS members, details below:

To register to this event, please log in into our AAS website first and then click the registration button below (please do not use zoom.us for registration).  

Meeting details will be emailed to registered members prior to the meeting.



A link to Wotton + Kearney’s resource page which provides ongoing commentary on the NSW building reforms is set out below:


Wotton + Kearney will continue to add to this page over the coming months.

12/1/2020 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time

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