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Harvey S. Schochet

Harvey Schochet has extensive experience in commercial finance, real estate, and agricultural loans and investments, with a particular focus on restructurings and workouts, credit recovery, bankruptcy cases, and related commercial litigation. He represents secured and unsecured lenders, agents and lender syndicates, equipment lessors, and equity investors in these matters throughout the country and in a variety of industries and financing products, including secured asset-based debt, long-term unsecured debt, private equity, equipment financing, real estate debt, real estate leases, project finance, and leveraged leases.

Harvey has been a nationally recognized speaker since 1980 on a wide range of business restructuring and bankruptcy topics, including "Lending Transactions and the Bankruptcy Act," "Bankruptcy Practice for Bank Counsel," "Agricultural Workouts and Bankruptcies," "Advanced Bankruptcy Workshop: Chapter 11 Problems," "The Role of High Yield Bondholders in Workouts and Bankruptcies," and "Restructuring a Debtor's Financial Obligations." He has co-authored numerous course books on out-of-court restructuring and Chapter 11 topics for the Practicing Law Institute and served as a co-editor of a compendium on international bankruptcy law for the National Institutes (ABA). Harvey has collaborated with European counterparts on a number of cross-border projects. He has served as a panelist for the Central and Eastern Europe Regional Bankruptcy Project (United States Agency for International Development); has served as a mentor and teaching fellow for visiting Credit Suisse lawyers from Switzerland, and; has hosted judges from Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Harvey has also served as a guest commentator on corporate restructuring and insolvency for Bloomberg Financial Radio.

In the agricultural sector, Harvey has represented lenders (including individual lenders and agents) and other parties (including equity investors and purchasers) in pre-litigation workout, federal and state court enforcement, Chapter 11, and restructuring matters ranging from a few million dollars to $100 million, involving fruit orchards, nut orchards, vineyards, wineries, cattle ranches, feedlots, dairies, row crops, hay, timber, agricultural processors (fresh and frozen), cold storage facilities, and import/export traders.

Speaker presentations, 2017:
Speaker, "Film finance - traps for the unwary and best practices," presented to a California bank group

Moderator and speaker, "Forensic accounting support in litigation," presented to a delegation of visiting prosecutors from the Shanghai People's Procuratorate

Moderator and speaker, "Overview of the intersection of U.S. legal and technology principles," presented to students in the Berkeley Law School/Tel Aviv University Law School joint LL.M. program

Representative Experience

Chapter 11 real estate case involving historic mansion – secured creditor representation

Representation of a multi-national financial services company in a Virginia Chapter 11 case of a company owning one of the most historic mansions in the U.S.

Agricultural sector workouts – representation of European multinational banking and financial services company

Senior outside counsel to U.S. subsidiaries of a European multi-national banking and financial services company, both as agent and in their individual lending capacities, on defaulted secured loan matters in California, Washington, and Oregon, totaling in excess of $150 million.

Origination transaction – representation of telecommunications company

Senior outside counsel for a NASDAQ telecommunications company in the placement of a $525 million multi-national and multi-currency commercial loan facility.

Chapter 11 case of employee leasing company – representation of secured lender

Representation of New York-based international bank in contentious Los Angeles Chapter 11 case, resulting in full payoff of bank’s $8 million debt. Matter included criminal conviction of debtor’s principals.

Full loan payoffs following default – representation of secured lender

Representation of New York-based international bank in negotiating a full payoff of a $25 million loan facility following default by a borrower in the California agriculture sector. Representation of same bank in negotiating a full payoff of three related commercial sector loans totaling $30 million following default.

Chapter 11 case of frozen food processor – representation of financial services subsidiary of multi-national conglomerate

Senior outside counsel to multi-national financial services company, holding $17 million in facilities lease debt, in Los Angeles Chapter 11 case. Working with two other major creditor constituencies, formulated and facilitated Section 363 sale of the company’s assets, leading to 100 percent payoff of all creditor claims.

Chapter 11 case of equipment dealer – representation of secured lender

Representation of institutional creditor holding $14 million in lease and debt obligations throughout a contentious Chapter 11 case, followed by a post-bankruptcy workout.

Agricultural sector – representation of a financial services company

Representation of a major insurance company in recovering full $25 million in private placement debt, including attorneys' fees, default interest and sanctions, following a "Chapter 55" - five separate Chapter 11 cases filed by borrower and guarantor obligors.

Objection to Chapter 11 plan – representation of a secured lender

Representation of an international bank in objecting to a plan proposed by private equity group in a Delaware Chapter 11 case, leading to an equity position with full minority shareholder rights and, subsequently, full payoff.

Commercial collection

Co-counsel in multi-million dollar Nevada judgment collection proceeding, including successful appeal to Nevada court of a California arbitrator's decision, thereby enabling client to complete collection proceedings.

High stakes litigation

Served as senior counsel and strategist for Oregon ranchers in $20 million litigation dispute pertaining to a California real estate joint venture. Matter settled.

State court receiverships

Representation of many secured lenders in state court receiverships pertaining to commercial real estate loans.

Other matters of note

Over the course of career, representation of clients in litigation cases in California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, and Delaware, and in transactional matters in these and a number of other states.

Additional Qualifications

  • Shareholder, Steefel, Levitt & Weiss, San Francisco

Professional & Community Activities

  • One of the Founding Directors, American Bankruptcy Institute, serving as a director during ABI’s formative years 

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized for many years in the Bankruptcy, Restructuring, Finance and Creditors’ Rights categories in various "best lawyer" publications, including Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in the Bay Area, Northern California Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyers, Southern California Top Lawyers, and Northern California Top Lawyers
Recognized by Chambers USA