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When Tulkinghorn sent young scribe Brendan Malkin up to York recently, little did either imagine it would turn into a struggle for survival. Somewhat ambitiously, Malkin planned to catch the last train home to London after dinner with the Northern Insolvency Lawyers Association, hosted by president Mark Phillips QC of 3-4 South Square. But those insolvency folk would have none of it and, several glasses of champagne later, became increasingly persuasive. With great generosity of spirit, South Square clerk - sorry, senior practice manager - Paul Cooklin put up £160 for a room in a hotel. But when Malkin arrived, looking forward to a good night's kip, the night porter had no such booking and no spare rooms. He suggested several other hotels nearby, leaving the exhausted hack to pace around York as the clock ticked towards 2am. As his legs gradually turned to stone and his brain to jelly, he eventually found himself back at the original hotel. The night porter, aghast at his return, said he could offer Malkin a room normally rented out only to tour group leaders - it was his for £80 with coffee and a shower thrown in. But with sleep almost in sight, Malkin suffered another blow when his corporate card failed to do the honours. The night porter asked Malkin how much cash he had on him. A full night's sleep for £10 - bargain. Zzzzzzzzz.