THE high-flyers of the county’s legal profession have been saluted at an awards ceremony.

Hampshire Law Society’s Legal Awards were held in the Hilton at the Hampshire Bowl, with ski-jumping legend Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards as the after-dinner entertainment.

More than 200 members of the legal profession, sponsors and guests attended the ceremony, which has been held for the past five years.

The society’s president, Joe Robertson, said: “Legal professionals are increasingly having to adapt to ever evolving legislation and regulation, and, as a result, are having to constantly update their skills.

“Each of our deserving winners has demonstrated the excellence in legal services provided by our member firms in and around Hampshire and it is my pleasure to congratulate them and wish them the best of fortunes for the future.”

Guest Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards became famous in 1988 as the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.

Ranked 55th in t he world, the plasterer from Gloucestershire was the only British applicant for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He competed in the 70m and 90m jump events and won the hearts of spectators around the world, despite coming last in both events.

Celebrated for his can-do attitude, he was played by Taron Egerton in the 2016 film Eddie The Eagle.

He gave a motivational talk on his achievements.

The winners were as follows.

Large law firm of the year:

Winner – Trethowans.

Runner-up – Dutton Gregory,

Small law firm of the year:

Winner – Biscoes.

Runner-up – Churchers.

Lawyer of the year:

Winner – Jonathan Whettingsteel, Dutton Gregory.

Runner-up – Sarra Gravestock, Biscoes,

Junior lawyer of the year:

Winner – Yasmin Curry, Blake Morgan.

Runner-up –India Jefferson Grant, Biscoes,

Special Achievement award: Roderick Hursthouse – for more than 30 years’ contribution to local law societies.

The evening raised £2,015 for Dementia UK Admiral Nurses.

It was sponsored by Barclays, Index Property Information, No 18 Chambers, Quantuma and Smith & Williamson.

Hampshire Law Society traces its history to 1892, when lawyers in Southampton and Portsmouth came together to help the profession and liaise with the national Law Society.

Its aims including promoting the understanding of the profession, promoting Hampshire as a centre of legal excellence, promoting standards, and giving a voice to members through lobbying national and local government. It also works with local universities to encourage and support the study of law and to promote interaction and an exchange of opportunities.