Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson has made its trainees redundant by a group email, The Lawyer can reveal. The firm told them that it is planning to retain just one out of the 10 trainees due to qualify in September. Martineaus senior partner William Barker confirmed that the news had been communicated to trainees by email. He said the trainees were warned in advance about the possibility of not being offered jobs upon qualification and that the firm would announce its decision in June. Barker said: "Once we made the decision we wanted to tell them straight away. We couldn't get everyone to a meeting to tell them straight away and we wanted to inform people at the same time so that some didn't know before others got to know. That's why we sent an email. "It's not as callous as it sounds: the email does contain an invitation for them [the trainees] to talk to the director of HR about the decision and it was also copied to the heads of department." Last month Martineaus told The Lawyer that it was deferring three trainees who were due to join the firm in September, as well as half of its 2004 starters. It blamed the economic downturn for its decision.