Lee & Thompson associate up for Bafta

Lee & Thompson associate James Walker is in the running for a BAFTA award for his role in short animation film Sleeping with the Fishes.

Walker, who trained at legacy Herbert Smith before taking two years out to study at the National Film & Television School (NFTS), told The Lawyer that his animation is about a woman who leads a lonely life as a fishmonger “until one day a delivery man turns up who looks like a rainbow trout”.

The animation has since been nominated for a BAFTA award in the category titled British short animation in 2014.

Walker told The Lawyer that he did not get any inspiration from the legal industry for the animation. “I don’t know any lawyers who share a bathtub with fish!” he said.  

Despite joining Lee & Thompson’s film and TV group in April 2013, Walker said he hopes to continue making films. “I am not currently gearing up to produce more shorts, but I am also a writer which is easier to fit around my legal work – especially as I have a long commute,” he added. 

He said of his transition from film school to film law: “One of the toughest challenges with transitioning from a corporate lawyer to a film lawyer is that the film industry has its own language which I was able to pick up at the NFTS. But more importantly, having been on the front line, I have had a glimpse into the many competing pressures that film producers face which gives me an additional perspective when offering advice.” 

Walker isn’t the only London-based lawyer with a hidden talent. Last summer Landmark Chambers’ Katrina Yates, a show-stopping singer who doubles up as one of the bar’s up-and-coming property and Chancery advocates, was among those to sing at the legal market’s battle of the bands event Law Rocks (14 June 2013).

Elsewhere, talents have included band pipes, a Welsh singer and a barrister who speaks five languages, while head of Henderson Chambers Charlie Gibson QC is known for his boxing skills and electric drum kit.