Billable Hour began with a photograph.

The picture was of Alan Kurdi and it broke hearts.

In the first week of September 2015, a group of lawyers decided to ask colleagues to donate their fee for one billable hour of their time. The money would go to Save the Children.

Lawyers like to think they can get things done. Save the Children are on another level entirely. By the time most people have finished dismissing a proposed response as ideal in theory but unrealistic in practice, Save the Children have implemented it.

The lawyers concentrated on what they do best: twisting arms, working their networks, making the case and, finally, earning the money to donate. It very soon became clear that lawyers weren't the only people wanting to find a way to help.


A few weeks after the campaign had begun, over £200,000 had been raised by lawyers, accountants, economists, teachers and children. People donated billable hours, book royalties and the proceeds of lectures and conker sales. Parallel appeals were set up in Australia, Germany and Canada.

Years later you may be wondering when the crisis ended. It didn't. But our attention moved on. Children around the world are still living through conflict, missing out on education, and fighting for their lives against preventable diseases.

We want to try, once more, to exceed our own expectations of ourselves. We want to build on our work of the previous years and we would like you to be part of it.

You can donate here.

A number of events are already planned and you can find details here.

If you have ideas of your own and want to do more, please do! Billable Hour does not belong to anyone, it is simply you, helping. There are logos and other materials to help raise awareness amongst colleagues here.