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“Most of the firms began to expand strongly, both domestically and overseas. Chastened by the recession, Herbert Smith preferred to watch and wait, its efforts to set a strategic course being best described as desultory.” An apt description, but the following passage from Tom Phillips’ surprisingly entertaining book, ‘A History of Herbert Smith’, actually describes the outlook 20 years ago as the firm peered anxiously at the turbulent early 90s legal market.

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