‘Should I renege on my accepted TC offer to take one at a better firm?’

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By Legal Cheek on

I need readers’ advice

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one soon-to-be trainee wants to back out of one TC offer to accept another at a better firm.

“I received and accepted a TC offer a few months ago from a good firm, let’s call it firm A. I still kept applying afterwards, and was recently made a TC offer by a, in my opinion, much better firm — let’s call it firm B. I have about a month to accept or reject them.

I haven’t told firm A that I kept applying, and I haven’t told firm B that I already accepted an offer from firm A. If I now renege on firm A and accept firm B, what are realistically the possible consequences of that? I know the SRA used to have a voluntary code of conduct that prohibited candidates from doing what I’m doing (i.e. continuing to apply after accepting an offer, as well as not disclosing their current offers during other firms’ interviews / ACs) but they pulled out of it in 2015. I think I read somewhere that the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division has taken over a ‘revised’ version of the code, but I can’t find that version anywhere nor do I know if firms respect it / expect candidates to respect it.

I guess there’s also the ‘soft’ question of, how connected are HR / grad rec teams between firms? Could firm B possibly find out from firm A if I renege on my offer, and then withdraw their current offer? Or even further down the line, like in the middle of my TC, and then basically fire me? That would be quite terrible.”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at team@legalcheek.com.

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