James McNeill, born in 1952, was educated at Dunoon Grammar School, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. He was admitted as an Advocate in 1978 and held the appointment of Standing Junior Counsel to the Inland Revenue in Scotland between 1988 and 1991, when he took silk. He sits as one of the Judges of the Courts of Appeal of Guernsey and Jersey and as a Convenor of the Presbyterial Commissions of the Church of Scotland. His principal outside interest is in music and between 2004 and 2010 he chaired the Music Committee of the Board of the Scottish International Piano Competition.
Mr McNeill was appointed in September 2012 for four years until September 2016.