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"Trust me, when you got views like mine from Central Park to Battery Park, people don't care how they're treated. They just want in."
— David Fox to Donna Paulsen

David Fox is a real estate developer and the head of Fox Commercial Leasing who owns 601 E 54th Street, the building where the firm currently known as Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett had leased since the firm's initial founding.

History

"I need people to believe that I'm ruthless."
"Well, wouldn't you rather have people know you're loyal than have them think you're an asshole?"
―David Fox and Harvey Specter[src]
David Fox is the owner of Fox Commercial Leasing, throughout which he owns many buildings, including the one used by Pearson Specter Litt. The firm's lease had been controlled and therefore was much less than the current market lease, which Fox disliked. However, after Harvey Specter and Louis Litt dissolved Pearson Specter Litt in order to restructure as Specter Litt, the lease was voided, much to Fox's delight. In order to obtain proof of the dissolution, he tricked Donna Paulsen into providing an official statement, after which he gave them a 90 day notice to evict from the property, threatening to sue them if they did not.

In turn, Donna went to Rachel Zane, who filed a retaliatory lawsuit against Fox Commercial Leasing, although Fox informed Donna that filing a lawsuit against the landlord shortened their eviction from 90 to 30 days; when Donna explained that it wasn't against the rules for them to counter-sue, Fox explained that he had never officially sued them for eviction in the first place. Donna and Rachel, upon realizing all Fox cared about was his control and his properties with unobstructed views, purchased the rights around his buildings to place tampon ads, although they offered to cease their plans if Fox agreed to allow them to stay with a 10% discount on their original lease, which Fox reluctantly agreed to.[1]

A while later, Fox disabled the elevators at the firm after Harvey told Fox to pay Anna Reed, a cleaning lady at the firm, her due overtime. Fox refused and fired Anna as a result, earning Harvey's ire. As the elevators were necessary to run the business, Robert Zane ordered Harvey to settle the matter. Donna, with carte blanche, was sent to solve the issue; Donna offered Fox a year's worth of free legal service from Harvey if he restored the elevators. rehired Anna and paid the workers their overtime, which he agreed to.[2]

Shortly after, Fox attempted to buy a building from fellow property developer John Billows, although Billows refused to sell to Fox. Fox then enlisted Harvey's aid, as he was owed Harvey's free service for a year, in order to acquire the building. Harvey initially attempted to drop Fox as a client due to his personality, and was irritated when he discovered that payments were made by Fox to one of Billows' tenants. However, Fox revealed that he did not wish to buy Billows' building for profit; the man he paid was his mentor who had saved him during his time as a poor child, and he had been paying his mentor's rent. However, Billows was evicting him, hence why Fox wished to buy the building, so that his mentor could retain his home. Fox explained to Harvey that he formed a ruthless persona because he does not wish to reveal his caring nature lest he get taken advantage of and seen as weak. Harvey manages to have Fox acquire the building, although in a manner that reveals Fox did it to save the tenants. Fox is apprehensive to have the world aware of his true intentions, although Harvey assures him that he would not be viewed as weak for doing so.[3]

Personality

Fox has shown himself to be a very worthy adversary to those within The Firm, mostly due to his sharp intelligence, and shrewd negotiating skills.  He is very capable of orchestrating strategy and having himself positioned a few moves ahead of nearly everyone, including Donna and Harvey, much to their chagrin, and the Firm's near destruction.  David's intelligence lets him spot very precise and careful opportunities where he can benefit personally, and also ensure that his opposition isn't left with much choice.  His wit also makes him come off as quite charming, even when his intentions are less noble, such as when he was interacting with Donna.

The problem David has, as Donna was able to later deduce, is that he is extremely insecure and does big bold things to prevent being seen as weak.  He is paranoid that any time he is not being shown as strong, someone is going to take his kindness as a sign of weakness.  This makes him appear as coldhearted and vindictive, doing anything to ensure that he gets out ahead, and caring very little as to what happens to the people who work for him, or his own tennants.  He believes that because what he owns, people covet, so they are ok with his poor treatment, as long as they get what he offers them, which sets him at odds with some of his employees, and especially Harvey and Donna.  Fox does have a caring side, but hates for it to be shown as he worries that people will constantly seek to take advantage of it.  He does not seem to realize that by showing a little kindness towards his tennants and employees he would have better and more productive relationships that are not seen as something to tolerate.

References

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