James Richardson graduated in Law from the University of Manchester. He served articles with the County Secretary of Suffolk County Council in Ipswich and was admitted as a solicitor in 1982. On admission, he became an Assistant Solicitor and then Assistant Town Clerk to Gillingham Borough Council in Kent before joining the legal department of Kent County Council in 1987. He held various posts on the litigation side of the department culminating in being appointed Head of the Litigation Team in 1999. He took early retirement in late 2004.
His special interests are in the fields of highways, town planning and environmental law and he has appeared at many inquiries in these and other areas. He lectures regularly in his subject areas. He has recently finished two engagements as external examiner for a college which trains solicitors and is a tutor in one of his subject areas with a distance learning college.