James Macdonald, a British citizen with Bermuda status, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. After qualifying as a lawyer in the Province of Ontario in 1981, Mr Macdonald practiced law as an associate with Smith, Lyons, Torrance, Stevenson and Mayer in Toronto. Mr Macdonald returned to Bermuda in 1984 when he joined The Bank of Bermuda Limited (now HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited) as Corporate Legal Officer and was called to the Bar in Bermuda in 1987.
Mr Macdonald joined the law firm of Conyers Dill & Pearman in 1993 as an associate and was promoted to partner in 1997, practicing corporate law with an emphasis on public companies and insurance law. Mr Macdonald retired from Conyers Dill & Pearman on March 31, 2013.