Withdrawing a job offer after it has been accepted is not always risk free, as exemplified by Andrea Orcel’s claim against Santander in which he seeking €100m compensation or specific performance of the contract to appoint him as the bank’s new CEO.

Once a binding contract is in place, even if the commencement date has not yet arrived, the employer needs to serve notice if it wishes to withdraw the offer.  Whether that results in any money being due depends on the period of notice that needs to be given and how long before the employee was due to start.  If the entire notice period can run before he/she was due to start, they will get nothing. 

If the withdrawal was in breach of contract, Orcel can ask the Court to order that the breach is remedied by Santander honouring the appointment.  If this is not an option, the damages might also include payment in lieu of deferred bonuses that apparently Santander had agreed to buy out as Orcel would forfeit them by joining Santander.  

The city will be watching this case as it progresses.