James Robert Wallace (born 25th August 1954 in Annan, Dumfries), Liberal/Liberal Democrat, was elected as MP for the constituency of Orkney & Shetland on 9th June 1983, following the retirement from politics of Jo Grimond. He represented the seat for the Liberal Party until 1987, and for the Liberal Democrats until 2001, when he left Westminster to stand for the Orkney seat in the new Scottish Parliament. He was replaced in the Orkney & Shetland seat at Westminster by Alistair Carmichael. Wallace was the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 1992 and, on the creation of the Scottish Parliament, became the Deputy First Minister alongside Donald Dewar in a Labour/Liberal coalition.
Wallace achieved a degree in Economics and Law from Cambridge University, then read Legal Studies at Edinburgh, graduating in 1977.
He joined the Liberal Party and unsuccessfully contested the 1979 election for the Dumfriesshire seat, in the same year he was also unsuccessful in the election for the South of Scotland seat in the European Parliament.
When the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party went into coalition in the Scottish Parliament, Wallace was Deputy First Minister through most of this coalition, and briefly twice Acting First Minister between the death of Donald Dewar, and appointment of Henry McLeish, and again after the resignation of Henry McLeish.
In 2007 he was elevated to the Peerage as Baron Wallace of Tankerness.
Following the UK general election 2010 Lord Wallace has been sworn in as the Advocate General for Scotland on 21st May 2010. The ceremony took place at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.