L&T launches The James Walker Legacy Award

17th September 2020


In September 2019, our cherished colleague and friend, James Walker passed away at the age of 38.  In the wake of his untimely death, we joined together with his family and friends to discuss how to best pay tribute to James, remembering the wonderful person he was, the spirit in which he lived his life and the values he embodied.  This week, almost at the anniversary of his passing, we are very proud to launch The James Walker Legacy Award.

As well as being a stellar film lawyer, James was a much-loved writer, producer and friend.  He was also a very special person.  He had the breadth of talent and personality to succeed as both a lawyer and as a creative producer and writer, and he did this all effortlessly.  James was a mentor and an inspiration to those around him, supporting his colleagues, clients, industry peers and friends in a gentle and modest way, never seeking acknowledgment or praise for his talents or for the many kindnesses (both small and large) that came so naturally to him.

Before joining Lee & Thompson, James graduated from the National Film & Television School’s Producing Course and he subsequently won a BAFTA for Best Short Animation in 2014 with two of his NFTS course-mates for their graduation film, “Sleeping With The Fishes”. James then combined his love of film with his vocation as a solicitor and worked for over six years in the Film team at Lee & Thompson where he was part of our family and friend to so many of us.

The Award


We have partnered with the NFTS and set up an Award to provide much needed support for graduates of the NFTS screenwriting and producing courses in the first crucial year after graduating.  The Award, which combines financial assistance, mentoring, legal help and/or networking opportunities will help them hit the ground running and allow them to dedicate their time to further developing their portfolios and establishing themselves in the industry.

This transitional period can be very challenging as graduates seek sustainable opportunities in the industry, having supported themselves financially during the two years of the course, and set out to build relationships that take time to forge but are key to furthering their careers.

The support provided by the Award will allow these graduates to dedicate their time to developing their portfolios and establishing themselves in the industry while they have the momentum and exposure provided by their work at the NFTS. It stands to help emerging talent as they navigate the challenges of breaking into the industry, while enabling them to establish themselves regardless of background or financial means, all in the spirit of the support James gave to so many.

Reno Antoniades, Managing Partner of Lee & Thompson and a close colleague and friend of James said:

“We miss and think of James every day.  James meant so much to me and to so many of us and this Award – which is such a fitting reflection of James’ wonderful qualities – will continue James’ memory and be a lasting tribute to him.”

How to donate


Donations will go directly to the NFTS and will be allocated to those graduating from the MA in Screenwriting course.

Graduates from the MA in Producing will benefit from a range of practical support and guidance, including mentoring, legal advice and networking opportunities, from Lee & Thompson and the wider film and TV industry.

Please click here if you wish to support the Award.