Birmingham firm Wragge & Co has announced that it will cut up to 85 staff, after its revenues fell by nearly a fifth last year.

The firm’s turnover for the 12 months to 30 April was £104.3m, down by 17.5% on last year’s £125m. The firm did not release figures for profits and profits per equity partner (PEP), but said they will be available later in the year.

The 85 redundancies will include both fee-earners and support staff. The firm also introduced a salary freeze for the 2009/10 financial year and is considering asking staff to take four-day weeks, sabbaticals, unpaid leave, extended maternity and paternity leave, and career breaks and secondments.

Senior partner Quentin Poole said: ‘This has been a difficult year amid the most testing trading conditions I’ve experienced. It has been tough for everyone – clients, competitors and us. We have told our people that with less money coming into the business, we have to find ways to reduce our costs.

‘We have a track record for innovative thinking, so I expect us to come up with some inventive suggestions. Redundancies are a possibility, but they are a last resort. We will look at everything suggested and see how we can save money without losing people.’

Wragge & Co’s latest consultation comes after 24 people were made redundant through voluntary and compulsory redundancies in the autumn last year.

Meanwhile, the firm promoted two to its partnership, while three partners retired. Wragge & Co has 112 equity partners.

Today’s Gazette carries a feature on the state of the legal market in Birmingham.