I recently signed an acceptance letter of an offer from a company in UK. In the offer letter there are no declaimers about consequences about rejections.

However, I've changed my mind and would like to accept another offer from another company.

Is there any legal consequences?

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    I think that would depend on what was in the acceptance letter, but usually an acceptance letter confirms intent rather than being a contract.
    – MJ6
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 13:22
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    This may be OFF-TOPIC since it's about "legal consequences"... BTW, to the community - I am new here and I notice ALOT of legal questions that really are not "workplace questions". Cheers.
    – d'alar'cop
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 13:39
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    Think of it this way: Would there be any legal consequences if you took the job and then quit after 1 day? After 1 month? After 1 year? Unless specific damages were spelled out for you leaving before a specific time, there should be no legal consequences. What you should be worrying about are career consequences, but you didn't ask about those. Commented May 18, 2014 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


However, I’ve changed my mind and would like to accept another offer from another company.

Go for it.

Is there any legal consequences?

Yes, no, maybe, not really.

If the agreement doesn’t clearly spell out penalties, there should be none. The first company might not be happy, but depending on your field of career path that might not mean anything.

If you are concerned, contact the first company directly & lay it out there: An offer that fits in more with your goals has come along & you would like to decline the offer you just accepted.

And when I say, “Yes, no, maybe, not really.” what I mean us this: Do you really think that company—or any company—will spend their resources to be punitive towards a potential employee who has not worked for them & does not want to work with them? Chances of legal fallback are zilch.

That aspect is really one of the least talked about realities of employment agreements: They are really designed to create the impression that you have no choice once the paper is signed. The reality is no company would ever punish each prospective employee who decides to just walk away. It wastes their time, money & resources as well as create the impression that the company is a harsh place to work in.

Just take the better offer, rescind the previous offer gracefully & professionally. Don't think twice about it.

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    I'd just like to add: when you do spell it out to the first company, there's always the chance that they give you a counteroffer and try to compete with the other company. This might not happen to everyone, and it might not be what you want, but it can be useful sometimes.
    – Gigi
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 18:12

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