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Harvey Reginald Specter, J.D. is a former corporate attorney, one of the name partners at Specter Litt Wheeler Williams, the managing partner of Specter Litt, and a former Assistant District Attorney for the New York County District Attorney's Office. He is also the husband of Donna Paulsen.
After being promoted to the position of senior partner at Pearson Hardman in 2011, he hired Mike Ross, a veritable genius with a photographic memory who was able to pass the bar exam despite not attending law school, as his associate.
Harvey grew up in Riverside, New York. Harvey was 16 when he first caught his mother, Lily Specter, cheating on his father, Gordon Specter. Not wanting to hurt his father's feelings, Harvey did not tell him about it and watched his mother's indiscretions in silence for the next two years. Eventually, she left them. Jessica Pearson met Harvey while he was still working in the mailroom of Gordon Schmidt Van Dyke. Harvey had realized that an associate backdated a postage when he missed a filing, so he came into Jessica's office and told her that if the firm did not declare misconduct, he would report them to the D.A. Impressed, Jessica soon paid for Harvey to go to Harvard Law, where he "jerked off the entire time [he was] there". He also met Dana Scott, a rival at law and occasional lover.
After graduating 5th in his class from Harvard Law, Jessica wanted him to gain "trial experience", so she recommended that he work as an assistant for New York District Attorney Cameron Dennis, saying that "Cameron was the only one he should learn from." Harvey worked as an Assistant District Attorney under Cameron for the next 2 years. This is where he met Donna Paulsen, who became his secretary. After catching Cameron burying evidence on his cases, Harvey decided to leave the District Attorney's office to work at Pearson Hardman, with Donna following right behind him. Entering Pearson Hardman as a "sophomore" associate, he soon went up the ranks and became a senior associate. While there, he meets Zoe Lawford, a fellow associate Harvey shared a mutual attraction with.
In 2007, Jessica approaches Harvey to find out who is embezzling money from the firm. Initially suspecting junior partner and colleague Louis Litt, they later realize that it is actually the managing partner, Daniel Hardman. Through Donna, he and Jessica find out that Daniel had been stealing from the company for his extramarital affair with Monica Eton, so they blackmail him into surrendering his seat at the firm to Jessica. Because of his deal with Jessica, Harvey is then promoted to junior partner. His father, Gordon Specter, who had long been rooting for him to be promoted, dies of a heart attack. He has been visiting his grave occasionally since then, symbolically sharing drinks with him.
Harvey finally achieves his dream of becoming a senior partner in a firm, only to find out he must hire an associate from Harvard Law School. He chooses Mike Ross, a brilliant but troubled young man looking to break into the legal world. Harvey's decision could possibly destroy him after he learns that Mike, although he knows the law back and forth, has never actually graduated from law school or any post-secondary institution. Nonetheless, Harvey hires Mike and vows to keep his secret safe, essentially taking Mike under his wing. As he works various cases, Harvey enlists Mike to help him. Mike is often seen trying his best to help people in poor circumstances, or those he knows, by riding on his reputation.
At the beginning of Season 2, Harvey faces a conflict when his friend and boss, the firm's managing partner Jessica Pearson, learns the truth about Mike. In the meantime, Harvey has to help Jessica deal with the return of Pearson Hardman's other managing partner, Daniel Hardman, whom Harvey does not trust. Hardman's return sparks a conflict between him and Harvey, though it is clear Harvey is only looking out for Jessica's best interests. Harvey begins working closely with Jessica to keep the chaos in the firm from Daniel. In the meantime he continues to work on cases. The episode "Rewind" deals with flashbacks to earlier times in the lives of both Harvey and Mike, showing how their decisions have affected them. Eventually, Harvey's skills as a closer become needed as he continues his fight to assist Jessica in not only keeping the disarray of the firm from Daniel, but ousting him as partner. In "Blood in the Water," Harvey must once again help protect the firm, now free from Hardman's influences, from a new crisis. In the following episode he is forced to go head to head with Robert Zane, father of paralegal Rachel Zane, on a gender discrimination case. In the season 2 finale, much to Harvey's chagrin, Pearson Hardman makes a deal with a British firm on a merger, finally removing Daniel's name from the firm, but linking to Edward Darby, whom Harvey does not trust.
Harvey continues as a senior partner at the newly merged Pearson Darby, and is almost immediately supplied with a high profile client of Darby's, Ava Hessington. Once again, he and Jessica work closely to get Ava off the hook. In the meantime, Louis Litt steals Mike away from Harvey, claiming there is nothing more Harvey can teach him. When Ava is arrested for murder, Harvey must dig in his heels. In the meantime, Darby's own closer arrives and shakes things up for Harvey's case. Stephen Huntley, Darby's "fixer", begins to work with Harvey on the case in "Shadow of a Doubt." Meanwhile, the opposing counsel on the case, Cameron Dennis tries all sorts of dodgy tactics to make sure Harvey loses. Harvey and Stephen are eventually split on how to handle it and Harvey is faced with the case going to trial as he, Mike and Jessica once again try to save the firm. Subsequently, Harvey found out that the orders to carry out the murder came from Stephen Huntley as he was the fixer in charge of helping Ava Hessington back then. This was done without Edward Darby's knowledge. Left with only one choice left to save Ava Hessington from a murder trial, Jessica Pearson and Harvey came out with a settlement proposal to Cameron Dennis, whereby Edward Darby will testify against Stephen Huntley claiming that Edward Darby knew of the orders made for carrying out the murder. As Cameron Dennis has a principle of catching the correct bad guys, he agreed to Harvey's proposal to drop the charges against Ava Hessington, provided that Edward Darby enters a settlement with the D.A. and testifies against Stephen Huntley. During the signing of the Settlement Agreement, Edward Darby suddenly realised there was an additional clause in the settlement, which forbids him from practicing his legal career in New York. It was a plan prepared by Jessica Pearson to oust Edward Darby from the firm. Edward Darby had no choice but to sign it as he intends to protect Ava Hessington due to the relationship he had with her father. After the case, Ava Hessington hired Travis Tanner to sue Pearson Darby Specter for malpractice. Travis Tanner had been tough with Harvey in his deposition and he was also playing dirty by dragging Dana Scott into the picture, so as to put Harvey on the defensive. During the deposition of Dana Scott, it was discovered that Stephen Huntley had lied in his affidavit claiming that Dana Scott knew about the orders for the murder. Mike Ross and Donna Paulsen went to prison to confront Stephen Huntley on his affidavit. Not knowing that the prison he was in records all the conversations, Stephen Huntley admitted to Donna Paulsen that he lied in his affidavit. During the deposition of Ava Hessington by Harvey, Harvey went off the record and apologizes to Ava Hessington but remained stern that whatever he had done, it was in her best interest. Ava Hessington accepted Harvey's apology and Harvey made fun of Travis Tanner. Meanwhile, Jessica Pearson found out about Mike Ross and Rachel Zane were dating. She forced Mike Ross to bring an affidavit to Rachel Zane and ask her to sign and admit that she has knowledge about Mike Ross' fake Harvard Degree, thereby implicating Rachel Zane as one of the employees in the firm abetting in the cover up of Mike Ross academic identity. Rachel Zane brought the affidavit back to Jessica Pearson and demanded something in return if she were to sign the affidavit. Rachel Zane also made up her mind about going to Columbia University.
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(Summary) With Mike arrested and imprisioned, Harvey works tirelessly to ensure his release. He even stoops so low as to sell out his client, William Sutter. Harvey colludes and makes a deal with Sean Cahill, a prosecutor for the SEC.
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Having merged with Robert Zane to form Zane Specter Litt, Harvey wished to retain the title of managing partner, while Robert wished to take over. As Louis Litt notified the pair that they each had clients with overlapping divisions that created a conflict, Harvey and Robert attempted to have the other's client drop their divisions. Harvey appointed Alex Williams while Robert used Samantha Wheeler, his right-hand. Harvey began to believe that Samantha would defeat Alex, and therefore interfered to win the case himself; however, his actions proved that he was not managing material, causing him to defer the role to Robert. In addition, Harvey switches offices with Robert, gaining his old office back.
As a result of Mike Ross' resignation, Harvey had taken over all of Mike's clients. One of the clients, Max Loudan, informs Harvey and Robert that his partner and friend, Nick Turner, have started a business venture together but that half of their $100 million investment is missing. Not wanting the firm to lose a client and suspecting Max of embezzlement, Robert assigns Samantha to aid Harvey in solving the matter. Samantha undermines Harvey in order to retain the client, although she has Max resign as a result, infuriating Harvey as he wished to genuinely aid Max in his crisis. Robert notifies Harvey that the firm's next name partner will be Samantha, causing friction as Harvey had promised the same to Alex Williams, although he does not inform Robert of this.
Harvey soon encounters Anna Reed, a cleaning lady at the firm's building. Anna has been working overtime in order to pay for her mother's medical bills but is denied her overtime due to her managerial title, and thus asks Harvey to help her, prompting Harvey to butt heads with David Fox. After Fox retaliates by firing Anna and disabling the building's elevators, thus affecting the firm, Harvey gives Donna carte blanche to solve the issue. Donna offers David a year's worth of free legal representation as Harvey's client if he rehires Anna, pays the workers their overtime and restores the building's facilities, and David accepts.
Harvey flies to Boston to represent his brother Marcus Specter, who is divorcing his wife Katie and wishes to have shared custody of their children. Marcus informs Harvey that Katie has filed for divorce because he had an extramarital affair; while this angers Harvey, Harvey is even more infuriated when he realizes that Marcus did not have an affair, but relapsed into gambling again, and had his daughter hide it from her mother. Their mother, Lily, reaches out to Harvey, blaming herself but informing Harvey of possible instances where Katie was negligent as a parent in order to prevent Katie from gaining sole custody. However, Marcus refuses to resort to such tactics, and Harvey decides to instead have a heartfelt conversation with Katie, convincing her that while she may or may not choose to divorce him, the children should still be able to have their father in their lives.
Harvey soon begins to attend therapy sessions with Stan Lipschitz, where he reveals he is irritated with the notion of Louis having a kid because he is worried Louis would not have time for him anymore and would eventually leave him, citing that Jessica, Mike, Rachel and Katie were all people he cared about who ended up leaving his life. Lipschitz warned Harvey that pushing Louis away would break their friendship, and in the end, Harvey goes out to dinner with Louis.
Harvey and Robert team up to defend their firm from Thomas Bratton, who is suing them for $20,000,000 for conspiracy to collude during the Masterson Construction/Reform Corp. case. Harvey and Robert discover that Bratton has cancer and two years left to live, and has chosen to spend his remaining lifespan trying to take them down. However, the pair soon discover that Bratton has succumbed to an unexpected heart attack.
Due to Alex and Samantha's clashing, Harvey agrees that the winner of the case would become name partner. However, after Alex beats Samantha, Samantha tells Robert to live up to his word anyways, Robert butts head with Harvey, who wishes to appoint Alex as Alex was the winner. In order to prevent the firm from tearing itself apart, Donna has Louis become the managing partner, who then promotes both Alex and Samantha.
At some point around this time, Harvey received a phone call from Jessica, asking for a favor. Harvey agreed, and arranged for Ken Sharma from Chicago to receive a corporate offer in New York City as a chance to rebuild his career.
As the firm is officially renamed to Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams, Harvey decides to exact vengeance on Andrew Malik for having Jessica disbarred by representing Jim Allen, a boxing promoter who Malik is investigating and charging for rigging a match for financial benefit. Robert joins the case as well, and they discover that Jim is innocent; Ricky Crosby, one of the fighters, intentionally threw the match in order to gain $2,000,000 (by having his friends bet against him winning) since he has brain damage and wishes to provide for his family. Since Jim's license was revoked and he lost revenue as a result of Malik's prosecution, Harvey and Robert sue Malik on Jim's behalf for compensation under the Wrongful Prosecution Act, and force Malik to issue a public apology for wrongfully prosecuting an innocent man, knowing full well issuing such a declaration would prohibit Malik from being promoted to higher office by his superiors.
Harvey and Louis become at odds again when Harvey disobeys Louis' orders while attempting to land Steven Palmer as a client.
Stu Buzzini is soon blackmailed by a trader at his firm, Nick Pavonotti, who has evidence that Stu manipulated the Teddy Doyle shares the year before. Since Harvey the ones who had asked Stu to commit the crime, Donna urges Harvey to help him. Nick threatens to expose Stu to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission if Stu does not resign, prompting Harvey to ask Sean Cahill to drop the case, although Sean refuses, notifying Harvey that he is lucky he is not being arrested on the spot. Harvey then asks Kevin Miller, now an investment banker at a top-tier firm, to hire Nick in exchange for Nick ceasing his blackmail on Stu, although Nick refuses the position. Nick eventually informs Sean of Stu's crimes, only for Sean to inform Nick that he does not like blackmailers and that he would be implicit in the crime as well if he officially reports it, prompting Nick to withdraw his claim, thereby allowing Stu to retain his position; additionally, Stu fires Nick as a result of his actions. Following the victory, Harvey finds himself alone in his apartment. He attempts to call Donna and ask her out for drinks, although Donna, who is dating Thomas Kessler, is unable to; he then calls Mike to have someone to talk to, only to get Mike's voicemail, saddening Harvey, becoming lonely as he has no one to spent time with.
Samantha then faces off against Dana Scott in a case involving Samantha's client getting out of a bank contract. However, it is soon revealed that Scottie's client, the bank, created multiple fake credit accounts and that Scottie was helping cover it up. Fearful that she may end up in prison, Scottie asks Donna to convince Harvey Specter to make a deal and settle the case without the bank's criminal actions being made public. Donna agrees to talk to Harvey under the condition that Scottie forever steers clear from the firm, which Scottie construes as Donna telling her to stay away from Harvey forever, although she accepts the deal regardless. Harvey is able to convince Samantha to make a deal, informing her that he would now owe her one, and the case is settled. Grateful, Scottie calls Harvey and Donna, notifying Donna that true to her stipulation, she would stay away from Harvey, although not before adding that she wishes Harvey sees Donna the way everyone else sees them as. With the case settled, Harvey decides to go out with Donna, only to discover that she is dating Thomas. However, he soon runs into Samantha, and not wanting to be alone again, asks Samantha out for drinks, which she accepts.
Simon Lowe, a client of Harvey's, makes a handshake deal with Thomas, which he publicly announces. However, Simon informs Harvey that he is using Thomas as a stalking horse to entice his original supplier to restore an initial offer, and orders Harvey not to inform Thomas or his attorney, Alex, lest he break attorney-client privilege. Regardless, Harvey breaks privilege and informs Alex, but also shares Simon's betrayal with Donna, who notifies Thomas. As a result, Thomas honors his original deal with another company at their initial discounted rate while publishing a public notice on the issue, ruining Simon's deal and prompting Simon to fire Harvey and Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams. As a result, Simon hires Daniel Hardman to sue Harvey and the firm on his behalf for breaking attorney-client privilege.
Daniel attempts to have Harvey disbarred for breaking attorney-client privilege. However, Hardman offers to drop the suit if Harvey has him brought back to his firm and made name partner, which Harvey refuses. In order to settle the issue, Robert offers to convince Ellen Rand and Eric Kaldor to have Hardman become a name partner at Rand Kaldor if he drops the case, to which Hardman agrees. However, Eric only agrees to have Hardman as name partner if Zane resigns from Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams, and after Eric makes implications towards Robert's relationship with Samantha, Robert informs Eric that he would settle the matter with Hardman some other way. However, after Harvey has Simon fired, Hardman believes Robert was insincere and informs the New York State Bar's Ethics Committee, triggering a hearing. While preparing for the hearing, Harvey asks Thomas Kessler to lie on the stand and claim that it was he who told him about Lowe's stalking horse tactic and not Donna.
However, at the hearing, Robert has Alex testify that it was Robert who broke privilege and not Harvey, in an attempt to regain the firm after Harvey and Louis had him step down as managing partner. As a result, Robert is told to forfeit his license to practice law. Harvey finds himself lonely once again following the conclusion of the hearing, although both Robert and Alex reject his offer to hang out as they wish to go home to their wives. As a result, Harvey goes to Samantha's office, deciding to spend time with her. As Samantha divulges how Robert was the person who loved her despite her baggage and flaws and is the person she wishes to share her victories and defeats with, and that it isn't easy to find someone like that in the world, Harvey realizes that Donna is that person for him. He rushes out of the firm and takes a cab to Donna's apartment, knocking on the door. As Donna opens the door, she steps back as she sees him. Taking this as invitation, Harvey walks in and begins to kiss her body in various places before being led to Donna's bedroom, where they have sex.
Following their night of sex, Harvey and Donna lay in her bed, with Harvey telling Donna that he wished he had come to his senses earlier. As Donna tells them that it's time they got some sleep, Harvey tells her that everything has changed. A few hours later, Harvey and Donna finish leaving phone calls to Mike and Rachel about their night together. As the pair discuss their relationship, they are interrupted by Louis, who arrives at the apartment to deliver some bad news. Harvey and Donna briefly discuss how to hide Harvey's presence before Harvey states that there is no reason to hide their relationship from Louis. As they open the door, Louis sees the two and assumes that they were working all night to handle the Robert Zane situation, which both Harvey and Donna play along with, while making sexual innuendos the whole time. Louis informs them that they need to issue a press release and presents a statement he had drafted which condemns Robert's actions while signifying that the firm is still supporting him. Before he leaves, Louis tells Harvey that he needs to work with Samantha and sign all of Robert's clients before they find legal representation elsewhere. Donna then asks Harvey not to share the news of them being together with anyone else until the Robert matter is handled.
Harvey walks into his office, where Samantha lies in wait for him. Samantha notifies him that three of Robert's clients have put them in review while six of them refuse to take her call, explaining that the only reason clients would leave this fast is if someone else was pushing them to do so. Harvey initially believes that Daniel Hardman is behind it until Samantha discloses that the client notices were dated two days ago, prior to Robert's disbarment, and tells Harvey that they need to pay a visit to Eric Kaldor. Meanwhile, Alex enters his office only to run into Thomas, who informs Alex that he and his company are his or the firm's clients.
Samantha and Harvey head to an ice hockey rink where they witness Eric play. Eric skates over to them, proudly stating that he had notified Robert's clients that he would be stepping down, as he believed Robert would have accepted his original offer of stepping down to defeat Hardman, only to be viewed as Nostradamus in the wake of Robert's disbarment. He attempts to drive a wedge between the pair but fails, and proceeds to offer to stop poaching Robert's clients if Harvey gives him ten of his personal clients, claiming to Samantha that Harvey is the reason Robert got disbarred. As he calls her "sweet pea", she pushes him against the screen, and he states that they should reconsider his offer before informing Samantha that if she touched him again, he would have her disbarred as well.
Harvey and Samantha head to a restaurant where they share drinks and discuss their strategy, with Samantha stating that they should not turn their back on a teammate and go on the offense. Harvey adds that he and Samantha are so alike as what she is telling him is what he used to tell Mike. Samantha reveals that she was hurting the night before and really appreciated Harvey coming to talk to her, but couldn't understand why he suddenly up and left. Since Donna didn't want any one to know yet, Harvey agrees with her belief that he had left because he needed to be alone.
Having returned to his office, Harvey notifies Donna that he cannot come over to her apartment tonight, and tells her that he feels bad for lying to Samantha about needing to be alone when he had rushed out of her office. Donna divulges that she just broke up with Thomas Kessler, causing Harvey to briefly regret his decision, informing her that he did not know that she was still dating him when he came over. Donna soothes the blow by claiming that while they hadn't officially broken up, Thomas knew that it was over, adding that Harvey did nothing wrong. As he ends his call with Donna, Samantha walks in with a file of Eric's clients they can target; Harvey suggests that they also go after Ellen Rand's clients, to which Samantha replies by indicating a stack of files in her other hand.
Harvey and Samantha each go to lunch with one of Eric and Ellen's clients, although they both state that keeping Robert's name proves that the firm stands by his actions. Additionally, they stipulate that since Samantha is Robert's protégé, her name would have to be removed and she would have to be let go if they want them to leave Rand Kaldor to be their clients, to which both Harvey and Samantha refuse. As Harvey returns to his office, he realizes Samantha is waiting there for him. Samantha, having learned that he spent the night with Donna, explains that she wants Harvey to give up his clients to save Robert's, revealing that the night she was hurting after losing Robert because of Harvey's actions, Harvey left to go sleep with the woman whose fault it really was.
Harvey then heads to Donna's office, notifying her that Samantha knows about them. While Donna understands where Samantha is coming from, Harvey responds that he cannot accept the things Samantha said to him and that he would have punched her if she wasn't a woman. Donna reminds him that Samantha does not like being treated differently for being a woman, and that since Samantha loves to fight, Harvey should box with her and that way they can get it out of their system. Harvey retorts that he is not hitting a woman, while Donna adds that Samantha has military training and that in a fight, she believes Samantha would win. Harvey begins to leave in bewilderment, although Donna adds that they would both like to fight each other and that for Harvey to refuse getting in the ring with her just because she is a woman would be disrespectful of her.
The next morning, Harvey heads to Samantha's gym and the two begin to punch one another in the ring. In the aftermath of their fight, Harvey and Samantha compliment each other on their fighting. Harvey apologizes for his actions and offers to give up ten of his clients to Eric, although Samantha replies that Robert would not want that and that they should simply fight to keep Robert's clients and accept if they lose some, so long as the firm keeps Robert's name, and Harvey accepts the suggestion before the pair return to the firm.
Louis heads to Harvey's office to convince Harvey to vote in his favor, although Harvey replies that he gave his word to Samantha that he would agree to retain Robert's name. Before they can discuss the matter further, Samantha interrupts the meeting and informs the pair that if they remove Robert's name from the firm's name, she would not only leave, but that she would inform the State Bar of the truth. Not wanting to betray his word to Samantha or have Robert's sacrifice be in vain, Harvey heads to Eric's office and hand delivers his ten clients.
Harvey invited Donna to Mike and Rachel's apartment, where he discloses that when Mike suddenly left New York, he asked Harvey to rent out the apartment on his behalf; wanting to retain the apartment in case they ever returned, Harvey created a fake tenant and had been paying the rent every month. Harvey tells Donna that a week ago, he wouldn't have slept with her if he knew she was still with Thomas, but that the moment he realized he wanted to be with her, he felt like he was already in a relationship with her. He adds that he thought he was going to lose everything at the hearing, and despite not losing, he felt empty in the aftermath, and that things finally made sense when they got together. He then admits that the name he used for the fake tenant was none other than Rick Sorkin, which Donna remembers is the name of the applicant who didn't show up to Harvey's associate interviews. Harvey tells Donna that he loves that she gets him, and the pair kiss.
The next morning, Harvey and Donna head to Louis' house, where they see him wearing a Speedo, which Louis refers to as a "mankini", claiming that wearing it instead of underwear is extremely supportive. Harvey and Donna refuse the offer and instead try to tell him that they are together and to explain why Harvey spent the night at Donna's apartment, although Louis is oblivious and believes that by together they mean standing together side-by-side and that Harvey had spent the night at Donna's due to plumbing issues. Donna then explicitly states that she and Harvey are in a relationship and that they didn't want to share the news before when the timing was bad, with Harvey adding that they wanted Louis to know, as their partner and friend, although Louis replies that while he is happy to hear their good news, there is also some bad news, notifies them about Faye Richardson.
Back at the firm, Donna inquires into how long Faye is going to stay, with Louis responding that it would up to the discretion of the New York State Bar Association. Harvey retorts that there is no way he would accept some outside taking control of his firm, while Alex Williams begins to tell Louis that they could have avoided it, only for Samantha to intercede, claiming that Alex was going to say that they could have avoided this predicament had they removed Robert's name.
At that moment, Faye walks in, announcing that she wished to meet them and criticizing the firm's management, such as how the firm had two disbarred managing partners in two years, a junior partner who had gone to prison, and that she believes Harvey was an involved party in Mike Ross' fraud. Faye adds that if they want her gone, they would have to show her that they would stop crossing lines and fly straight, revealing that not only does she have the power to fire them, but that she can approve cases, allocate resources and do anything else she sees fit in her capacity as Special Master. Faye announces that her first order of business would be removing Robert Zane's name from the firm name, causing Samantha to reply that she would find dirt on Faye if Faye attempted to do so. Faye responds that this kind of thinking is the exact reason she had to take over their firm and that Samantha has no say in the matter, causing Samantha to retort that she would be leaving the firm. As she storms out, Faye informs the others that their days of operating the firm as they seem fit, likening it to the Wild West, are over.
Harvey heads to Samantha's office, where Samantha begins to pack her stuff, claiming that the firm isn't for her anymore and that she will not capitulate to Faye's demands. Harvey tells her that they need her, and that whether she likes it or not, the world thinks Robert is guilty, and therefore would think Samantha is guilty if she suddenly quit. He asks her to wait out Faye's tenure as a compromise, adding that the moment she left, they would add Robert's name back. Samantha discloses that she took a case pro bono that morning for Lucas Hodge, friend that cannot afford their rates, which complicates matters as Faye has control over case approval, although Harvey replies that since Faye's jurisdiction began as of today, as far as he was concerned Samantha met with Lucas and took on the case the night before.
Harvey returns to his office, preparing to tell Donna that they need to find a way to get rid of Faye, only to have Donna share the same sentiments. Donna tells Harvey that Faye wishes to have an exit interview with Thomas to demand why he left the firm, and Harvey states that as Thomas would not lie for them again, they would have to find a way to prevent that exit interview. Harvey goes to Thomas' office at night, notifying him of Faye and asks him to be their client again. Thomas refuses to do so, reminding Harvey that he wouldn't lie for them again, although Harvey adds that they had tripled his business and that if he had done the "right thing", Thomas would have lost his expansion. Thomas asks Harvey what Donna is to him, and Harvey replies that Donna is the most important person in his life and that she knows it. Realizing that they must have gotten together, Thomas asks when it happened and Harvey immediately responds that it was the night following the hearing. As Harvey was honest, Thomas agrees to be their client again on the sole condition that Harvey is his attorney and not Alex, declaring that he doesn't trust Alex. Harvey doesn't think it's a good idea and asks Thomas whether he can get past the fact that Donna had slept with him before breaking up with Thomas, and while Thomas has a brief moment of hesitancy, he states that he can.
Harvey goes to Alex's office and pours scotch, wanting to celebrate as he has good news. Harvey informs him that Thomas would be coming later today to sign an engagement letter to be their client again, although he adds that Thomas wanted him to represent him and not Alex. Alex does not like that his partner has taken his client, with Harvey trying to soften the blow by adding that it was only done to prevent Faye from having an exit interview with him. While Alex accepts it, he berates Harvey for trying to mask the news as a celebration.
Following his talk with Alex, Harvey goes to Donna's office to share the news. Donna wonders if Thomas would arrive to sign the engagement letter as Faye wishes to have the exit interview with him, although she calms down when Harvey informs her that Thomas had given his word. Donna asks Harvey how he can make everything feel better, to which he responds that it is because he is Superman and Donna is Lana Lang. Donna retorts that she is Lois Lane instead, although Harvey quips that she is the best of both as she is a redhead before he leaves, claiming to go save Metropolis, which Donna scoffs at, claiming Harvey does not even know his own phone number.
Harvey later notifies Donna that Thomas backed out of signing with them as he could not handle Harvey and Donna being together. Knowing that Thomas no longer being a client would lead to Faye going through with the exit interview, Donna tells Harvey that she would tell Faye the truth. After talking to Faye, Donna returns to Harvey's office, but as the pair begin flirting, Gretchen interrupts them and tells them to head to the IT floor right away.
There, they find Louis reprimanding Benjamin for ratting his orders out to Faye, and he tells Benjamin that he is fired. Donna refuses to have Benjamin fired and asks for it to be put to a vote, only for Louis to respond that as managing partner, he can fire support staff without the need for a vote and that Harvey would only agree with Donna in a vote because they are in a relationship. Donna replies that Harvey wouldn't do that, but both she and Louis notice that Harvey is hesitant to argue against Benjamin's firing. Faye then appears and tells Louis that Benjamin would not be fired, while Louis leaves after replying that he is not sticking around for Faye to publicly humiliate him for a third time.
The next day, Harvey pays Donna a visit at her office, asking why they hadn't spent the night together. Donna states that she doesn't like that Harvey agreed with her publicly while personally disagreeing with his stance, and after Harvey replies that he didn't want her to be mad at him, she realizes that he is fearful that she would leave him. Donna reassures him that she would not leave him, especially due to a work-related incident. Harvey reveals that he occasionally watches The Oprah Winfrey Show and discusses maintaining the work-life balance in their relationship when Gretchen interrupts them, notifying them that Faye stripped Louis of his title as managing partner and that they need to go see him. Harvey, however, tells Donna to see Louis alone while he goes to Faye's office to talk to her.
Faye explains to Harvey that she had revoked Louis' power after he had a subordinate hack the New York State Bar and then tried to fire him when he got caught. Harvey tells her that he believes Louis' statement that he had merely told Benjamin to do whatever it took and not explicitly to hack the Bar, prompting Faye to reply that there would be consequences if they did not obey her. Before storming out of her office, Harvey informs her that he would not be reporting to her.
Harvey goes to see Dan Foley, the CEO of SensaTech whose board of directors used the company's law firm to push through a takeover. Harvey tells Dan that the people behind his takeover are related to Faye, and offers to help him in order to stick it to Faye. Dan is initially hesitant about hiring an attorney whose focus is that they share a common enemy rather than helping him, although Harvey responds that he would be able to get his company back in the process, suggesting that Dan sue the board. Dan explains that as CEO, he is not allowed to file a lawsuit against his board of directors, though Harvey reveals that since Dan is also a shareholder, he would be able to sue them since shareholders are not exempt from doing so. Dan hires Harvey as his attorney and orders him to draft the suit, only for Harvey to inform Dan that he took care of that prior to their meeting.
Faye goes to Harvey's office, discovering that he is filing a lawsuit against her old firm. Since Faye is responsible for signing off and approving all new cases, she agrees so long as Harvey remains unethical, to which Harvey replies that he would do whatever it took to win. Faye then warns him that she would be monitoring him before leaving.
Harvey is checking out his records in his office when he gets a phone call from Dan, who informs Harvey that the board has fired him after Harvey took out a full-page ad to tarnish the board's reputation. Dan threatens to sue Harvey if Harvey does not fix it, prompting Harvey to go to Donna's office and share the news. However, Donna is too busy being Faye's secretary, angering Harvey. Donna stops Harvey from going to Faye, not wanting him to fight her battles, and suggests that they go out for dinner to clear their head and prevent their work troubles from affecting their relationship.
At a restaurant, Harvey discusses Faye at length before the pair realize their dinner was to avoid the Faye situation. The pair find themselves awkward with nothing to say until Harvey divulges that Donna reminds him of Ricky Garfield's mom. Harvey explains to a confused Donna that Ricky Garfield was a kid who had moved into the neighborhood when he was sixteen and that Harvey developed a crush on his mother, a redhead. Donna receives a phone call from Louis, intending to answer it as she promised she would be there for Louis, although Harvey responds that this dinner was meant for the two of them. Donna then elects not to answer the call and the two laugh after Harvey makes a joke, unaware that Louis is watching them.
Later, Harvey walks into Faye's office with a record of Faye's phone calls, proving that Faye had a fifteen-minute phone call with her old law firm, believing Faye had called them to sabotage his case and have them fire Dan. Faye retorts that it was not she who called them but rather they who had called her, and adds that if they had asked her to collude, she would have reported them to the Bar. Louis enters Harvey's office to notify him that he is taking a judgeship and leaving the firm. Louis reveals that he watched the pair at the restaurant laughing at him, although Harvey reassures him that they weren't laughing at him and asks him to stay at the firm.
That night, Harvey meets Faye by the elevators and notifies her that he convinced Kevin Miller to buy SensaTech and rehire Dan, but that he also asked Kevin to retain the firm's original counsel in order to save face for Faye, in exchange for Faye returning Gretchen to Louis. Faye admonishes Harvey for leveraging a client for his personal interest, although Harvey replies that Kevin was okay with doing so. Harvey then tells Faye that the firm is his and not hers, although as she leaves, she points out that despite Harvey claiming he would do whatever to win, he hadn't crossed any lines while under her purview.
The next week, Harvey is at his apartment with Donna is making Harvey a cup of coffee to discuss the fact that she is meeting her father, Jim Paulsen. for breakfast and wants Harvey to tag along so that they can share the news of their relationship together. Harvey points out that Jim isn't a fan of him as he had threatened Jim's livelihood in the past to prevent him from taking Donna's money, along with Jim accusing Harvey of putting Mike ahead of Donna, referencing when Anita Gibbs brought him in to pressure Donna into incriminating Harvey.
Later that day at the firm, Harvey finds Donna in the copy room and notices that is upset about something when Donna mentions giving up something important to her because of their relationship, although when Harvey inquires into it, Donna tells Harvey it is because of her father, adding that she can't be with someone who can't get along with her father and that Harvey never even told Lily, his mother. Harvey replies that he didn't think he had to, and before she leaves, Donna responds that it is because Lily was not an important part of Harvey's but that her father is. That night in his office, he gives Lily a call, telling her Donna is the one. Lily tells him that she has rooted for him and Donna to get together for years, shocking Harvey and prompting him to ask how she knows who Donna is, although she explains Marcus Specter had told her, as he too was a fan of Donna. The pair discuss Jim, with Harvey asking for help how to make amends, and Lily states that Harvey has a generous heart and that he should go to Jim and make a gesture, offering to talk to Jim if that doesn't work out.
Harvey goes to a restaurant the next day to make amends with Jim, and while Jim is initially appreciative of Harvey's efforts, he is insulted when Harvey reveals he looked into Jim's business and found a deal going wrong for him and therefore pulled strings to aid him. Harvey is confused as to Jim's reaction, considering his help a gesture, only for Jim to say that he hopes he treats Donna better than he treated him before leaving. Harvey then returns to his office, where Donna berates Harvey for insulting Jim and thinking he's better than her. Harvey immediately asks Donna what is wrong, stating that while he may have made a mistake with him, he knows that Donna knows that he doesn't think he is better than her. Donna then divulges the truth about Faye planning to revoke her voting power, maddening Harvey.
As Harvey attempts to head to Faye's office to protest her actions, Louis walks in, notifying Harvey that he is going to talk to Faye about getting Gretchen back. Harvey tells him that Faye is trying to take Donna's vote away and that he would be talking to Faye right now; when Louis proposes that they go together as a united front, Harvey responds that they do not have enough leverage to demand more than one thing, and that Donna's vote trumps Louis gaining Gretchen back. Louis is angered that Harvey is placing his wants over his, only for Harvey to lash out that Faye's presence is Louis' fault for signing over the firm to her without putting up a fight. This causes Louis to angrily retort that Faye being Special Master is his fault since she only took over their firm due to Robert and Jessica's disbarment, both of which happened because of Harvey, the latter of which because he hired Mike knowing Mike was a fraud. Louis then storms up while Donna prevents Harvey from lashing out further, explaining that he and Louis got angry because they were insulted, which is exactly what Jim felt. Harvey then goes to the bullpen, where Louis is idling. Harvey and Louis apologize and Harvey states that it's time they use Louis' idea to use a clause. Harvey then walks into Samantha's office and informs her and Alex that there are things going on that he is going to notify them of, and that tomorrow morning they would all put a stop to it.
The next morning, Louis, Harvey, Alex and Samantha go to Faye's office to save Donna's vote. They all mention the interpersonal relationships they have, such as Louis naming Donna his child's godmother and Samantha having dinner at Alex's house, although Faye chalks it up to it being friendship and not a relationship and claims there is still a conflict of interest. Louis then reveal that Katrina's code of conduct has a clause that allows the name partners to waive said conflict and that they all have done so. The four also threaten to quit if she does not respect their legal rights to waive conflict, reminding her that she would have to explain to the State Bar why four name partners resigned after she did not let them do something that was their legal right.
Harvey invites Jim to his apartment to apologize, explaining that he had spoken to Donna and that he did not see that his gesture was disrespectful just as Jim did not see that Harvey's offer to help him with his business deal was in good-nature. The two make up and Jim asks if it isn't too late to accept Harvey's help for his business deal, with Harvey telling him that it isn't.
In her apartment, Donna finishes leaving a voicemail for Rachel when Harvey walks in, telling her that he and her father were on good terms. Harvey then tells Donna if they are going to be in a relationship, she needs to trust him with the truth and if something is bothering her even if she doesn't want him to act on it. Donna then humorously asks what he means by if they were to be in a relationship, to which Harvey replies that they would be together forever. Donna jokingly takes that as a proposal and stumbles through her words when Harvey mentions that there would be no point officially proposing to her because whatever way he did it would not be the way she would want him to do it, and therefore it didn't matter. Donna then asks Harvey if they're engaged and it is Harvey's turn to stutter, although Lily calls him, saving him from the conversation. He answers the call and tells her that the Jim issue was resolved before putting the call on speakerphone and introducing Donna and Lily to each other. Harvey then attempts to end the call, only for Donna to take the phone and talk to Lily, while Harvey looks at her and smiles.
Harvey is capable of being extremely charming, persuasive, and playful, although he does not always exercise these traits. His good looks, easy smile, confidence, and charisma make him a hit with both clients and ladies alike. However, not many people like him, possibly because they are exposed to his more ruthless side on a regular basis. Harvey's co-workers at Pearson Hardman feel a combination of grudging admiration and strong resentment towards him, especially Louis Litt. According to Donna, this is because "people just don't like that he's right all the time." This is likely aided and abetted by his tendency to win, driving work ethic, and unorthodox methods. While working for the DA, Harvey had a perfect record, either settling or winning at trial, and is described by Jessica as "he almost always wins". While a very wealthy as a partner at a top tier law firm in New York, Harvey is not snobbish, partaking in activites like smoking weed, boxing, and enjoys more common pursuits such as movies and sports, unlike Louis who favors more artistic areas such as the opera and the ballet.
He typically abides by a rule of not getting emotionally attached to clients, because he thinks of it as a weakness to both him and his profession, believing that if people realize he cares about something, they will walk all over him. Harvey puts a great deal of value in loyalty, believing its a two way street, and fights as hard as he can for his clients and close friends. However he also has a tendency to lash out when he feels he's been betrayed, such as when Mike is forced to accept a deal from Jessica, Harvey tries to fire him, but after being overruled by Jessica, instead chooses to terminate him being his associate. Another example is when Donna leaves him as his secretary, he forces her to leave immediately despite her only giving him her two week notice, and renegs on her offer to help him find a replacement.
Despite his many qualities, Harvey has emotional problems stemming from his childhood where he was forced to keep secret that his mother regularly cheated on his father, a fact which he found out when he was 16. Initially agreeing to keep it a secret to not break his father's heart, when Harvey caught his mother cheating again, he exposed her and cut off contact with her, and as a result becomes distant from the rest of his family. In times of emotional turmoil, he prefers to ignore them, instead focuses on his professional life, such as when his father died. Due to this, he does not trust easily; he either trusts a person completely or not at all. His view of relationships is very black-and-white. . Harvey seems to have not noticed the impenetrable armor he's built around himself; he refuses to show people any kind of vulnerability. He tries to emotionally distance himself from other people when he can, with Louis mentioning that "he's always been alone." Nonetheless, some of his care and concern expresses itself when it comes to those close to him, especially Mike, Donna, and Jessica.
After Donna leaves, Harvey starts having panic attacks, and starts seeing a therapist, Paula Agard. He initially starts seeing her simply to get pills prescribed, and has trouble being honest or letting his guard down, although he takes therapy more seriously as he gets more comfortable. Paula convinces Harvey that the root of his issues lie with his mother, and Harvey finally repairs his relationship with his mother after decades.
Professionally, Harvey feels completely comfortable operating in the grey, and says he will not outright break laws, such as lying under oath to win. However, in more desperate circumstances, if the stakes are high enough, such as getting Mike out of prison, he is shown to tank cases, participate in collusion, and lie to his clients. Near the end of the series, he says that every line he's crossed, he would do it again, because he believes rules aren't necessarily right or wrong, and he did what he thought was right. He is also shown to be a risk taker, sometimes resorting to bluffing, and at one point putting up a million dollars of his own money as collateral to secure a loan for his clients, when Jessica refused to let him use firm money.
Harvey has few personal relationships, and can use his wit to keep people away as much as to draw them in.
While Harvey has few personal relationships, he has many client and business relationships, which is usually for his benefit. He has said that one can never have too many favors in the bank, and he has used his contacts to get him out of tough situations, for example he gave Laurence a Tesla even though he won their agreed upon quiz, claiming it never hurts to have a man who runs a 2 billion dollar hedge fund owe him a favor, after which he convinced him to buy McKernon Motors, to save the company and increase his billables.
Jessica Pearson is Harvey's mentor, guide, friend, and boss. She is absolutely convinced that he is her "ace-in-the-hole," and he was her right-hand man at Pearson Hardman. He was raised accordingly with Jessica's "silver spoon" in his mouth. She first met Harvey when he was working in the mailroom at Pearson Hardman. Outraged that an associate back-dated the postage for a missed filing (thus committing fraud), Harvey reported him to Jessica, informing her that if the firm did not file misconduct, he would report it to the DA's office. Impressed by his ethic and sensing potential, she put him through Harvard Law. She continued to guide his career after graduation. Jessica sent him to Cameron Dennis at the DA's office for trial experience, stating that "Cameron was the only one he should learn from." After two years, she hired him to work for her at Pearson Hardman, eventually promoting him a senior partner for the firm. Harvey was the youngest senior partner to ever be promoted.
Jessica likes and trusts Harvey because of his fierce ambition, stubbornness, and unswerving loyalty. These traits are also partially why Pearson Hardman is so successful. Although Jessica is more cautious than Harvey in the risks she is willing to take, she likes Harvey's "shoot-from-the-hip" style. She is extremely indulgent with him and his whims, allowing his maverick, unorthodox methods to prevail so long as they result in a win for the firm (which they usually do). Jessica's strong ruthless streak allows her to appreciate Harvey's strong need to win and his bending of the rules. However, Harvey's inability to take orders that contradict his own desires troubles her. For all that Harvey is her "ace-in-the-hole," he is also a wild card that she keeps a close eye on.
He and Jessica share the playful banter of two close friends. They have mutual respect for each other's wit and abilities and are incredibly loyal to each other. They trust each other absolutely. It is very likely that they can no longer imagine a workplace without the other, as proven in "High Noon". Their relationship is deeper than it seems (they have never even been seen hugging) and they create a powerful partnership at Pearson Hardman. Both worry about the other's well-being and are not afraid to call the other person out.
Five years before the start of the series, Jessica and Harvey worked together to kick Daniel Hardman out of Pearson Hardman when they learned that he was embezzling money out of the company.
At the end of Season 2, Jessica blackmails Mike saying that she will reveal his secret if he wins an important case. Mike then loses the case and Pearson Hardman merges with Darby International because Harvey made a bet with Jessica saying that if he lost he would allow the merger to happen. At first, Harvey is upset with Mike but later forgives him. However, Harvey never forgives Jessica and makes a deal with Darby so that he can become managing partner.
Mike Ross is Harvey's protégé and best friend, and their relationship closely resembles the relationship between Harvey and Jessica. Just as Jessica believes Harvey is her “ace-in-the-hole,” Harvey believes Mike is his, and he will do anything to keep him by his side at Pearson Hardman. Like Jessica did with him, Harvey is training Mike to be his lieutenant and right-hand man (not to be confused with Donna’s right-hand position—according to Harvey, Donna is irreplaceable). Harvey first met Mike while conducting associate recruitment interviews at the Chilton Hotel. Donna, mistaking Mike for missing interviewee Rick Sorkin, was impressed with Mike’s “quick wit” and sent him to Harvey as a promising candidate. Mike, sensing an out, continued to impersonate Rick Sorkin until his briefcase fell open and bags of marijuana tumbled out. This effectively put an end to his charade, as it was highly unlikely that a Harvard law graduate would carry around marijuana in his briefcase. Harvey, amused and intrigued by the turn of events, asked Mike for his story. He admired Mike’s quick thinking, and when Mike revealed that he possessed an eidetic memory, he admired that even more. However, Mike’s lack of a law degree—or any degree, for that matter, made it difficult to justify spending any more time with him. After looking at the remaining “Harvard clones” sitting outside, though, Harvey decided to take his chances with Mike. He hired Mike on the spot, and has been a mentor to him ever since.
Although he’ll never admit it, Harvey loves Mike and treats him accordingly. He is both professionally and emotionally invested in Mike—to him, Mike is a younger, more naïve version of himself. This brings out the softer, more paternal side of him. Harvey really wants to see Mike succeed and fulfill his potential. Because he believes in Mike and thinks he is capable of a great deal, he is very demanding and holds him to an extremely high standard. As he tells Mike, he is “tough, but fair.” This means that when Mike messes up, Harvey is often hard on him. However, he also takes the responsibility for Mike’s mistakes upon himself, since he ascribes to the belief that a mentor is responsible for his protégé’s mistakes. This is an important lesson for Mike: Having never had a responsible adult figure in his life (with the exception of his grandmother), he learns what it means to be responsible from Harvey.
Harvey likes to playfully bully him, especially when he believes Mike is asking for help with things he can figure out himself, such as filing patents, filling out subpoenas, etc. However, when Mike actually needs it, Harvey is always there to give him advice, help, and support, both on a professional and personal level. He protects Mike from Louis’ designs as well as Jessica’s criticism, often coming to Mike’s defense behind his back. He also comes to Mike’s aid in “Bail Out,” using his quick thinking and unorthodox methods to remove the threat of Trevor’s moneylenders from Mike’s life. He again bails Mike out in “The Shelf Life" after Mike was caught looking through the files of a rival firm. Because Harvey is willing to—and has staked—his career on Mike, he demands the utmost loyalty and confidence from him.
The bond between Harvey and Mike is further strengthened in “She Knows.” After Trevor betrays Mike by ratting him out to Jessica, Jessica investigates Mike’s background to confirm Trevor’s story. Although she admits that Mike combines the best traits of both she and Harvey, she orders Harvey to fire Mike. However, Harvey can’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he uses Hardman’s return as leverage to keep Mike with him. He informs Jessica that he and Mike are a package deal—if Mike goes, he goes. Jessica, unwilling to risk losing her “ace-in-the-hole,” agrees to keep Mike on. However, she is resentful that Harvey would place his needs (i.e., keeping Mike, his own “ace-in-the-hole”) above her own, especially after all she has done for him. It is a while before she forgives both of them for putting her in such an untenable position. By risking everything for Mike, Harvey shows that Mike means the world to him, and he would do anything to keep him.
Mike, in turn, admires Harvey and looks up to him. He strives hard to be worthy of the trust Harvey places in him, and is incredibly loyal to Harvey. Harvey is the first person besides his grandmother to really believe in him, and this is something that he desperately needs. The beginning of their relationship is slightly rocky because Mike is unsure of the extent to which he can rely on Harvey; Mike is constantly aware of his tenuous position at the firm and the secret of his deception weighs heavily on him. As he comes to know Harvey better, however, he realizes there is no better person than Harvey to rely on. His trust and loyalty become firmly cemented when Donna informs him of the lengths Harvey went to secure Mike's job. So when Travis Tanner revisits an old case of Harvey’s and comes after him for fraud, Mike steps up to the plate and has Harvey’s back. He closely guards Harvey’s secrets from Louis and Hardman, and discreetly handles any other cases that come Harvey’s way. Harvey, for his part, trusts Mike enough to let him handle it. Mike looks into all the files from the Coastal Motor case at Harvey’s request, and comes to him with all of his findings. He also helps Harvey during the mock trial, strategizing with Louis and convincing Donna to come back and testify. And, when all else fails, it is Mike who sits at Pearson Hardman late at night, looking through Tanner’s old cases to see if there’s anything to help Harvey. Harvey, for his part, shows that he trusts and respects Mike when he agrees to settle at Mike’s urging.
Despite beginning as a work relationship, Harvey and Mike quickly fall into the role of best friends.
They delight in each other’s quick wit and humor, and enjoy bantering with each other. They also take great pleasure in quoting lines from famous movies in an attempt to stump the other. This is an aspect of their relationship that even Louis envies, and wistfully tries to emulate while working on a case with Mike.Mike also quickly assumes a familiarity with Harvey that only Donna or Jessica could get away with. He occasionally drops in on Harvey unannounced to discuss personal issues that are bothering him. Harvey, who guards his personal life jealously, will express annoyance at these visits, but tolerates them good-naturedly. If he senses that the issue is serious, Harvey will usually hear Mike out and offer advice, even if it means postponing his own plans for the evening. Harvey, in turn, drops in on Mike when he is feeling out of sorts (as evidenced in "All In" after Harvey loses Donna), and again when he feels the need to check up on Mike in "High Noon".
By the time of the events in “High Noon,” Harvey trusts Mike enough to relax around him and open up about his past. Instead of playing the role of disciplinarian and scolding Mike for falling back on bad habits and smoking pot, Harvey gets high with him. They’re comfortable enough to share personal details about their family lives.
Harvey is also protective of Mike. In "Blood in the Water", when Mike comes into his office with a black eye, Harvey demands to know who did it so he "can kick his ass." When Mike says that there is no need, that he has it under control, Harvey says he will take care of it because that is just "how he is." Additionally, throughout season 5, Harvey goes to great lengths to save Mike from going to prison, even attempting several times to take the punishment for him.
Donna is Harvey's wife and former secretary. No one knows Harvey better than Donna does and she is protective of him.
Donna has been with Harvey since his first year at the DA's office, where she worked with him for two years before following him to Pearson Hardman. She adores Harvey and is extremely loyal to him, to the point where she would take a bullet for him. Harvey, for his part, loves Donna just as much—he adores her quick wit, her strength, and her sense of humor, and he deeply respects her. Donna is as much a part of him as he is of himself. The two frequently indulge in jokes and witty banter, and have an inside joke involving a can opener and thumbtacks for their pre-trial ritual. (The joke has yet to be revealed.) Donna also listens in on all conversations in Harvey's office (Harvey, in turn, never turns his intercom off), and she knows what he needs before he asks for it. As Harvey tells Louis Litt, he never tells Donna to do anything—she just does it. This trait, combined with Donna's ability to network and gather information, makes her extremely coveted as a legal secretary. She keeps Harvey's life running like a well-oiled machine, and he rarely (if ever) forgets it. For Harvey, Donna is an essential, non-negotiable element in his life, and he values her opinion. When Louis asks Harvey to borrow Donna after helping him out with a favor, Harvey tells Louis he can give him anything but Donna.
Donna is privy to most of the details in Harvey's personal life, and it is Donna who informs Harvey of his father's demise. Despite such a close relationship, Harvey does not tell Donna everything (a fact that rears its ugly head in "Break Point.") He has only been to Donna's apartment twice during the time they've worked together: once for a "god-awful dinner party" and "the other time." Harvey did, however, let Donna's parents stay at his condo when they were in town, although he was somewhat surprised when Donna told him she tricked him by faking tears. (Donna continues to possess the spare key to his condo.)
The depth of Donna's loyalty to Harvey is first revealed in "Rules of the Game." The threat Cameron Dennis poses to Harvey's career convinces her to approach Jessica Pearson with proof of Dennis' misdeeds. Donna gives Jessica a file she took with her when she left the DA's office, suspecting it would be needed to help Harvey at some point in the future. This act proved that Donna will go out of her way to protect him. Harvey was not pleased about it, although he did not deny that would have done the same thing if she had been in a similar situation.
Her loyalty to him is further demonstrated in "Break Point." In this case, Donna is literally loyal to a fault: her fear of implicating Harvey leads her to destroy important evidence in the lawsuit Travis Tanner filed against Harvey. Feeling betrayed, Harvey barges into the ladies' room and confronts Donna about it, informing her that the evidence would have helped his case. This devastates her, as her only goal was to protect Harvey. Despite her perceived betrayal, though, Harvey tells her: "I'm not going to fire you, Donna--I might KILL you, but I'm not going to fire you."
Although Harvey doesn't fire Donna, Jessica does. This is quite possibly the first argument Harvey has lost in a long time, and is likely due to the severity of Donna's mistake as well his own shell-shocked state. He waits for Donna at the elevators, watching her leave without saying a word to her.
It quickly becomes apparent that Harvey cannot function without Donna, nor does he want to. In "All In," Harvey is extremely reckless and out-of-control, taking risks that are out of character even for him. Donna is a tempering influence for Harvey, and she is one of the few people he will listen to: a feat neither Jessica nor Mike can accomplish. Although it possible for him to attempt working with someone else, he refuses to do so. As far as Harvey is concerned, Donna is an extension of himself. She is the woman who makes him "the Best Closer in New York," and he doesn't want anyone else filling her role.
In "Sucker Punch," Harvey is still upset about losing Donna, but he has it under better control. This may be because he now has a game-plan that directly deals with the issue of Tanner and the memo. Harvey goes to Donna's apartment to talk her into attending the mock trial Pearson Hardman is holding in preparation for his trial. For the first time, Donna tells him no. She feels angry, hurt, and betrayed that Harvey did not fight for her the way he did Mike, and she tells Harvey this in no uncertain terms. It is only after Mike stops by Donna's apartment and talks to her that she attends. During the mock trial, Louis, playing the role of Travis Tanner, asks Donna if she loves Harvey. She refuses to answer and storms out of the firm without speaking to Harvey, who chases after her, unaware that Louis was going to humiliate her in front of the whole firm. Furious with Louis, Harvey confronts him about Donna in the men's room.
During Harvey's visit to his father's grave in "Rewind," his inner emotional turmoil finally calms enough for him to really think and reflect upon the past, as well as his relationship with Donna. He returns to the office the next day, still pensive. In the end, Harvey informs Jessica that he will bring Donna back, which he accomplishes in "Asterisk."
Convincing Donna to return to Pearson Hardman is not as easy as Harvey would hope. In addition to being angry that he didn't fight for her the first time around, Donna is also upset about her humiliation on the stand during the in-house trial. She tells him in no uncertain terms that she loves him like a brother or a cousin, but she is not in love with him. Harvey, for his part, is forced to do some serious groveling; it is only after he tells Donna that he needs her and: "I can't be me without you" that she agrees to return. (This may have something to do with the fact that it is the first time he's said those words and sincerely meant it.) Her two conditions for her return: he pay her a bigger bonus, and she can have the pleasure of firing the temp. To date, Donna is one of only two women in Harvey's life he has asked to come back (the other one being Scotty).
In "High Noon," Donna tells Louis that she and Harvey "are like this" (she links her hands together) and she would never leave him for just anyone.
In "Unfinished Business," Harvey tells Donna that Jessica asked him to know more about Stephen Huntley,and Donna tells him that she anticipated Jessica needs.
During the episode "The Other Time" which is referenced in "Asterisk," it becomes clear during flashbacks that Harvey once tried to pursue Donna but due to her policy of not mixing work with pleasure, she resisted his advances. However when both Donna and Harvey quit the DA's office Harvey visits Donna and since they weren't working together anymore, she was already waiting for him with a can of whipped cream. Harvey steps into her apartment and she closes the door and he leaned over to kiss her. Although it's not seen, producer Aaron Korsh confirmed in an interview that they slept together during this flashback. Afterwards when Harvey gets a new job at then Pearson Hardman, he asks Donna to work with him to which she agrees on two conditions: a large sign on bonus and never to speak of them sleeping together ever again. The episode also shows where their loose banter and can opener ritual originate from.
In "Enough Is Enough," Donna tells Louis she slept with Harvey.
When Donna gets in trouble for illegally obtaining documents from Liberty Rail's file room, she ends up being charged for fraud, impersonating a federal agent as well as intent to steal private documents. Harvey does everything he can to settle the matter, finally resulting in breaking the law himself by obstructing justice, to keep Donna out of jail. They celebrate that night and have dinner at Donna's house. There's a moment, but he leaves, not before telling her that he loves her.
In the season 4 finale "Not Just a Pretty Face," Donna leaves Harvey and goes to work for Louis, leaving Harvey heartbroken and alone in his office.
At the end of "Pulling the Goalie," Mike admits that he might have been rooting for Donna to be with Harvey, and Harvey replies that he's not looking to be with anyone.
In the season 8 finale, he goes to her apartment, later sleeping with her.
Rahim, better known as "Ray," is Harvey's chauffeur. Harvey first met Ray eight years ago, when he accidentally left $3,000 behind in the backseat of the limo Ray was driving. Ray tracked Harvey down and returned all of the money. Harvey hired Ray on the spot and never looked back.
Both men share a very amicable relationship. Ray brings Harvey a cup of coffee and a newspaper; Harvey, in return, gives Ray a music CD of either jazz or blues music. They often quiz each other on music stats in an attempt to stump the other.
Harvey represented Ray pro bono when a taxi hit their car in "Bail Out." This was notable because Harvey resists doing pro-bono cases, but immediately volunteered because of his fondness for Ray.
Louis Litt is Harvey's co-worker. Louis secretly admires Harvey and envies his professional and personal status. However, this admiration is also the cause of a deep-seated resentment towards Harvey because Louis feels he is neglected by Jessica in favor of Harvey and thus is not sufficiently appreciated. It is evident that while both characters display exceptional legal prowess, Louis' greatest limitation both inside and outside of the workplace is the charismatic charm that Harvey effortlessly exudes.
Harvey takes great pleasure in teasing Louis to the amusement of the viewer, including such subjects as Louis' cat, his stress balls, and lack of female attention. Louis is a source of good-natured humor for Harvey. In spite of this, Harvey is not entirely unsympathetic to Louis: he holds him in high esteem as a lawyer, acknowledging that Louis is the hardest-working lawyer at Pearson Hardman and the financial crime wizard. He also tells Mike that "Louis is cunning, devious, and intelligent." However, it is because of Louis' cunning and devious tendencies that Harvey does not entirely trust him. This distrust effectively excludes Louis from being a part of the inner circle; something Louis desperately strives for. Louis has great confidence in his own proficiency as a lawyer but it is the appreciation and approval from Jessica and, particularly, Harvey that he longs for.
These issues of distrust on Harvey's part and longing to be included on Louis' part play a pivotal role in the events that surrounded Daniel Hardman's return. In an act of betrayal, Louis informs Hardman of a private conversation between Mike and Harvey that he secretly taped in Harvey's office. As a result, the relationship of Harvey and Louis is exacerbated and the rift between them is widened. Louis later regrets his actions during the civil war and on hearing that Louis will be leaving; Harvey changes his mind by ripping up Louis' resignation letter, signalling for him to stay. In the season two finale, Louis further makes amends by offering help and support to Harvey in his efforts against the merger, setting up for a more cordial relationship in season three.
He saw Dr. Paula Agard to help him deal with his panic attacks and subsequently dated her for a few months.
- Both of his parents died of a heart attack.
- Harvey's refusal to sleep with married women, stems from his childhood, as his mother frequently cheated on his father.
- He urinated in Louis' office before and told Louis it was Louis' cat's doing.
- Harvey obtained his undergraduate degree from New York University.
- Michael Jordan is a client of Harvey's, and Harvey has Jordan's cell number on his speed dial.
- He and Donna have a pretrial ritual that involves a can-opener and thumbtacks.
|Suits, Season 1|
|#01||"Pilot"||#07||"Play the Man"|
|#02||"Errors and Omissions"||#08||"Identity Crisis"|
|#04||"Dirty Little Secrets"||#10||"The Shelf Life"|
|#05||"Bail Out"||#11||"Rules of the Game"|
|#06||"Tricks of the Trade"||#12||"Dog Fight"|
|Suits, Season 2|
|#02||"The Choice"||#10||"High Noon"|
|#03||"Meet the New Boss"||#11||"Blind-Sided"|
|#04||"Discovery"||#12||"Blood in the Water"|
|#05||"Break Point"||#13||"Zane vs. Zane"|
|#06||"All In"||#14||"He's Back"|
|Suits, Season 3|
|#01||"The Arrangement"||#09||"Bad Faith"|
|#02||"I Want You to Want Me"||#10||"Stay"|
|#03||"Unfinished Business"||#11||"Buried Secrets"|
|#04||"Conflict of Interest"||#12||"Yesterday's Gone"|
|#05||"Shadow of a Doubt"||#13||"Moot Point"|
|#06||"The Other Time"||#14||"Heartburn"|
|#07||"She's Mine"||#15||"Know When to Fold 'Em"|
|#08||"Endgame"||#16||"No Way Out"|
|Suits, Season 4|
|#02||"Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner"||#10||"This Is Rome"|
|#03||"Two in the Knees"||#11||"Enough Is Enough"|
|#05||"Pound of Flesh"||#13||"Fork in the Road"|
|#06||"Litt the Hell Up"||#14||"Derailed"|
|#08||"Exposure"||#16||"Not Just a Pretty Face"|
|Suits, Season 5|
|#04||"No Puedo Hacerlo"||#12||"Live to Fight"|
|#05||"Toe to Toe"||#13||"God's Green Earth"|
|#07||"Hitting Home"||#15||"Tick Tock"|
|#08||"Mea Culpa"||#16||"25th Hour"|
|Suits, Season 6|
|#01||"To Trouble"||#09||"The Hand That Feeds You"|
|#03||"Back on the Map"||#11||"She's Gone"|
|#05||"Trust"||#13||"Teeth, Nose, Teeth"|
|#06||"Spain"||#14||"Admission of Guilt"|
|#07||"Shake the Trees"||#15||"Quid Pro Quo"|
|#08||"Borrowed Time"||#16||"Character and Fitness"|
|Suits, Season 7|
|#01||"Skin in the Game"||#09||"Shame"|
|#04||"Divide and Conquer"||#12||"Bad Man"|
|#06||"Home to Roost"||#14||"Pulling the Goalie"|
|#07||"Full Disclosure"||#15||"Tiny Violin"|
|Suits, Season 8|
|#01||"Right-Hand Man"||#09||"Motion to Delay"|
|#02||"Pecking Order"||#10||"Managing Partner"|
|#03||"Promises, Promises"||#11||"Rocky 8"|
|#04||"Revenue Per Square Foot"||#12||"Whale Hunt"|
|#05||"Good Mudding"||#13||"The Greater Good"|
|#06||"Cats, Ballet, Harvey Specter"||#14||"Peas in a Pod"|
|#07||"Sour Grapes"||#15||"Stalking Horse"|
|Suits, Season 9|
|#01||"Everything's Changed"||#06||"Whatever It Takes"|
|#02||"Special Master"||#07||"Scenic Route"|
|#05||"If the Shoe Fits"||#10||"One Last Con"|
|Pearson, Season 1|
|#01||"The Alderman"||#06||"The Donor"|
|#02||"The Superintendent"||#07||"The Immigration Lawyer"|
|#03||"The Union Leader"||#08||"The Political Wife"|
|#04||"The Deputy Mayor"||#09||"The Rival"|
|#05||"The Former City Attorney"||#10||"The Fixer"|