James MacGuill is a native of Dundalk, County Louth. He graduated in law from University College Cork in 1983 and was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 1986. He subsequently gained a Diploma in Arbitration in 1991 and was appointed a Notary Public in 1996. He has been in private practice ever since as a litigator with an emphasis on public law, especially criminal law.
His practice includes domestic and international cases, both within and outside the European Union. He represents clients before all European Courts. He has been actively involved in The Law Society of Ireland and has chaired many of its committees including Criminal Law, Human Rights, Professional Indemnity Insurance and Finance. He is presently chair of the Anti Money Laundering Task Force. He served as President of the Law Society in 2007-2008.
James has been the nominee to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) since 2008 and is currently Head of the Irish Delegation for a second term. He is chair of the Criminal Law committee of the CCBE, having also been a nominee to the Justice Forum.
He has been nominated to serve on many Government bodies on legal issues including working groups/task forces on Legal Aid, Jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts, National Crime Forum, Interviewing of Suspects, and the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board. He is a member of the recently established Legal Services Regulatory Authority, the new over-arching statutory body responsible for all legal professionals in Ireland.