Collaborative governance arrangements are frequently criticized for achieving collaboration at the expense of legitimacy and accountability. We explore the conditions under which legitimacy and accountability can occur in collaborative governance, ultimately aiming to discover whether collaborative arrangements can ‘have it all’, simultaneously being both legitimate and accountable. We leverage the Collaborative Governance Case Database to analyse a diversity of cases, employing a rich, qualitative comparative analysis. We find that legitimacy and accountability do co-exist in some cases and identify competing sets of conditions for this concurrence. Based on this exploration, we formulate propositions for future research.