Birmingham Law Society is considering launching an appeal to the city's business community to help it refurbish its historic premises.

Society president Steven Jonas said it was looking at a number of options to upgrade its headquarters in Temple Street.

A decision will be taken in the next three months with a move to a new location and seeking financial support from local companies among the options.

Mr Jonas, a partner at Jonas Roy Bloom, said: "The premises are wonderful and historic.

"They offer the largest professional legal lending library in the country to our members.

"But it does need substantial work to bring it to a level that we can provide the facilities we would like to offer to others, including trainee lawyers."

Mr Jonas said his preference was to remain in the current location and upgrade it so it complied with the Disability Discrimination Act and had more up to date meeting rooms with improved IT facilities.

He said: "We could either move to new premises or seek to persuade organisations in Birmingham to contribute to the upkeep of the current site.

"It would be a shame if the site, which used to be a theatre for the Temperance Society, was lost."

He was speaking as the Birmingham Law Society reported a return to profit after posting pretax losses of £69,200 last year.

A combination of stringent economies and improved revenues from the society's recruitment agency and lectures and courses helped it turnaround the loss into a pretax profit of £30,400 in the 12 months to December 31 2004.

Mr Jonas said the society had taken steps to prevent it going into the red ever again.

While turnover increased from £413,000 to £444,000, operating charges were reduced from £184,000 to £142,000.

The performance also reflected a reduction in contributions to the Advised in Birmingham initiative, from £43,000 to £23,000.