Blavo & Co Solicitors has placed all of its staff at risk of redundancy.

The firm bills itself as the largest mental health practice in the UK, but also specialises in criminal, immigration and personal injury law. It has 18 offices across the UK including Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle and employs 240 people.

This morning founder John Blavo informed staff that all of them were at risk of redundancy. Its website lists 64 solicitors, five legal executives, 28 paralegals, 33 non-fee-earners and 20 trainees, with another 70 recent hires yet to be added (and who possibly never will be, now). The firm has 19 partners, but would not comment on whether they were included in the consultation.

Blavo, who set up the firm in 1997 and runs it alongside practice director Fred Blavo and policy director Lynn Blavo, blamed legal aid cutbacks which he said have "severely impacted" upon the number of cases for which the firm can be paid. But he said the firm was also "considering productivity" following "a recent staff performance review". Which sounds mighty harsh.

    "I'm afraid you scored three out of five for attitude so we're placing the entire firm into a consultation."

The sports lawyer said that the firm had "no other choice other than to restructure", and has initiated a consultation across all departments and offices. He added, “It is important to stress that the company remains financially strong but we have to take remedial action in order to ensure continued operational strength".