Duffet moves to Lovell after a 14-year career with Laing O’Rourke where he was commercial leader for major projects in the South West, responsible for key schemes in the residential, healthcare, science, and commercial sectors.
His appointment to the Cardiff office follows the retirement of previous regional managing director Kate Rees.
Lovell is set to build more than 300 homes across South Wales and the South West during 2019, and has a forward order book worth £135m.
“James has exceptional commercial leadership skills and an impressive record in overseeing the delivery of complex, major construction projects,” said Lovell managing director Steve Coleby.
“He will be leading our team in South Wales and the South West where we are targetting a significant expansion of our residential development activities over the next five years.”
Lovell’s key projects currently underway include The Mill, Canton: West Cardiff’s £100m trail-blazing urban village which is one of Wales’ largest regeneration programmes.