Poor old Slaughter and May must be having a tough time of it at the moment. After being hoofed out of the magic circle by this very tome, the firm has been forced to endure yet more indignities. Last week, one of its clients was due to send more than £1.5m to a particular company it was investing in, represented by Clifford Chance, but unfortunately Slaughters' client got in a small muddle about its sums and only sent £1,499,993. The fact that the cheque was seven quid short didn't go down well with Clifford Chance, in particular with one of its eager assistants. Said ambitious assistant insisted that someone from Slaughters trudge round to its offices with the difference. So with £7 cash in his pocket, a young assistant had to make his way to Clifford Chance's office to pay up. Surely this can't be the Slaughters of old, which would never have stooped to such a lowly errand. Although in these trying times, maybe this is the only way to squeeze decent fees out of clients. Tulkinghorn wonders whether the young assistant has billed for the travelling time?