James qualified as a solicitor in 1990; he became a partner in a firm in 1993. In 1998 he set up the firm of James O’Brien & Co which he ran until 2012 when he sold same as he wished to transfer to the Bar. In practice as a solicitor, James worked in private practice for 22 years, specialising mainly in the areas of civil litigation both personal injury and commercial, criminal law and probate.
Since being called to the Bar, James has experience of defending criminal charges acting for individuals and corporations in the Magistrates’ Courts and Crown Courts, pursuing extradition appeals and pursing personal injury and commercial law matters particularly those within the agricultural sphere as well as contentious probate matters.
As well as being a Law Society accredited Mediator, James is also a member of the Law Society Alternative Dispute Resolution Project Management Committee.
From 2001 - 2007, James held a public appointment as a Member of the Agricultural Appeals Committee.