James Sherwood joined McGuireWoods Consulting as a vice president of State Government Relations in October 2017, and is also an attorney with McGuireWoods LLP. Prior to joining the firm, he served as deputy legal counsel and ethics officer for Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.
As deputy legal counsel, James advised the Republican House Leader and ranking legislators on a variety of legislative matters, including legislation that overhauled the state’s energy policies, transitioned Illinois to a statewide 9-1-1 system, strengthened prison sentences for repeat gun offenders, and dealt with the increase in heroin and opiate abuse. He was also a key intermediary in negotiating numerous proposals meant to reduce workers’ compensation premiums for employers and has lectured on this topic. In his role as ethics officer, James ensured the House Republican caucus was apprised of their duties under Illinois ethics laws and regulations, and advised members to ensure compliance therewith.
Prior to serving as deputy legal counsel, James served as senior legal counsel and staff attorney with the Illinois House Republicans. He drafted legislation and provided legal support to members on key issues, including insurance, energy, and criminal laws. In addition, he advised members on several different committees, including Judiciary Criminal and Civil, as well as the Executive and Public Utilities Committees.