The engineering giant is to cut 10 per cent of its 4,200-strong UK workforce to ensure its “long-term business health”, a company spokesman said in a statement.
The firm, which helped build Sydney Opera House, was set up by Ove Arup in 1946.
The spokesman said: “These are turbulent times in the global economy, and Arup – as with any responsible business – needs to ensure its long-term business health.
“It is essential that we match our resources to our anticipated workload, and it is with regret that we have decided to implement a programme of up to 400 staff redundancies.”
British-based staff will undergo a 90-day consultation period.
The firm's European board sent an email to staff last Friday announcing the start of a 90-day redundancy consultation that could result in more than 8 per cent of its UK workforce losing their jobs.
Chief operating officer for the Europe region, Alain Marcetteau, said in the email: “Whilst we continue to focus on our cash collection, timely invoicing and cost savings, we must also continue to look after our clients and deliver our projects to the highest standards for which we are known.
“It is essential that we match our resources to our anticipated workload to ensure the health of the business going forward.”
The news will be a blow to those who hoped Government investment in infrastructure could protect the bigger civil engineers.
Until recently, Arup was considered to be more secure than some of its rivals. In November, it reported a 69 per cent rise in pre-tax profit and cash reserves of more than £100 million.