Bankruptcy (Italian "banca rotta," meaning "broken bench") attorney (old French atorné, "one appointed by another to act in his place"). A bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer is an amalgamation of a variety of skill sets, including: litigator, ER doc, real estate lawyer, financial analyst, alchemist, commercial finance lawyer, sorcerer, street fighter, hostage negotiator, and humorist.
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 several 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 Credit Suisse lawyers visiting 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.
In recent years, though Harvey continues to regularly advise financial services sector clients, he has expanded his practice to clients outside of the financial services sector who value his strategic and "senior counsel" advice, including Bay Area technology companies and high net worth individuals, serving as the firm's relationship partner for these clients and enlisting the assistance of other DWT lawyers whose depth of knowledge aligns with these clients' needs. As a result, Harvey oversees work on trademark matters; software contracts; government contracts; state court litigation; vendor finance and sale matters; IP litigation; real estate leases; M&A; privacy, security, and cybersecurity matters; and trust and estates.
Recent speaker presentations:
"Film finance - traps for the unwary and best practices," presented to a California bank group
"Forensic accounting support in litigation," presented to a delegation of visiting prosecutors from the Shanghai People's Procuratorate
"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
National practice footprint
Admitted to Practice
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
- Member, Georgetown Law Journal
B.S., Accounting, University of Maryland, with highest honors
- Beta Gamma Sigma
- Licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (non-practicing since law school)
Memberships & Affiliations
- Advisory Board, Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, University of California, Berkeley
- Mentor, Berkeley Hope Scholars (foster youth) and Helen Diller Institute, University of California, Berkeley
- One of the Founding Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, serving as a director during ABI's formative years
- 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
- Shareholder, Steefel, Levitt & Weiss, San Francisco (former managing partner of 75-attorney law firm)