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The history of Butterworths, England's leading law publisher, falls into four parts - the 19th century when it was sedately and modestly run by its eponymous founders; the first four decades of the 20th century when it was dynamically built by Stanley Bond; the thirty-five years following Bond's death in 1943, when the company was owned by the Bond Family Trust; and the years since 1965 when Butterworths/LexisNexis became a division of the International Publishing Corporation, which later became Reed International and latterly Reed Elsevier. This book covers the third of these four periods.
Stanley Bond, a largely unrecognised publishing genius, instructed in his will that his two infant sons should inherit the company when they attained the age of twenty-five. until then the company should be run by a Trust, which he set up, most of the income from which would go to his widow. The sons never got their inheritance. The company was sold twenty-four years after Bond's death. How this came about is a story of intrigue and power plays, in researching which the author had access to confidential archives and was able to interview witnesses of the drama. The result is a tale that throws light on the mores of privately-run companies sliding unwillingly into the era of corporate ownership.