Profits at city firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP)  plummeted 39% to £39.4m for the financial year 2012/13, with the firm blaming more ‘aggressive price competition’ from the magic circle.

Profit per equity partner fell 39% to £401,000. Last year BLP recorded a 1.6% rise in net profit - the figure shared between its equity partners - to £63.6m. 

A spokesman for the firm said BLP was coming up against the magic circle more often who are ‘competing more aggressively on price’.

She added that the firm was offering more high-end work and is ‘now up against magic circle firms on a more regular basis’.

The firm also blamed fewer transactions on tough market conditions. ‘The first quarter was good and activity levels continue to be strong into Q2,’ she said. 

BLP would not disclose which areas of its business had been hit most. 

BLP has sought to cut staff costs by around 15% this year and in May placed 100 London-based workers at risk of redundancy. In July the firm revealed revenue had dropped 5% to £233m.