"Dreibach bought a shelf company."
"What's a shelf company?"
"It's a corporation that exists only on paper so its owners can hide their assets. [...] Give it a bank account, credit history, tax returns. And let it season for years on a shelf. Someone buys it, slots their name into it, and they walk away with an established corporation with a pre-existing history. Anyone looks any closer, you shut it down and do it again.

Harvey Specter and Mike Ross

The Shelf Life is the tenth episode of the first season of Suits and the tenth overall. It first aired on August 25, 2011.


Mike and Harvey have to fire Stan Jacobson, a Senior Vice President of Dreibach Accounting who has been working for 9 years with a fake diploma. Mike sees himself in this man and is faced with a choice. Mike and Rachel are spicing things up in the office while Louis creates some possible trouble for Jenny's and Mike's relationship.


To be added


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Andrea Parker as Tori
  • John Billingsley as Stan Jacobson
  • Ben Lewis as Seth Keller
  • Patrick Gallagher as Joe Spina
  • Xuan Fraser as Judge Anthony Morrison
  • Chantal Quesnelle as Charisse
  • Matt MacDonald as Ben
  • Jamie Spilchuk as Rudy
  • Gregory Meyers as Waiter
  • Nigel Hamer as Host
  • Egidio Tari as Guard
  • Carol Avery as Liz Silver

Major/Highlighted Events

Rachel & Mike's First Kiss (1x10)

Rachel and Mike's first kiss

  • Mike Ross and Rachel Zane share their first kiss, despite both of them aware that Mike is in a relationship with Jenny Griffith. Louis, after believing that Mike spread video footage about his girlfriend slapping him and kneeing him in the groin after their break up, notifies Jenny about the late nights Mike spends with Rachel working at the firm.
  • Tori, the CEO of Dreibach Accounting, which is Pearson Hardman's accounting firm as well as their client, comes to Harvey and Jessica in order to get their senior vice president Stan Jacobson fired, after a background check revealed that he lied about where he went to school on his résumé. Stan explains that he did go to college but could not afford to graduate and that it should not matter, as he worked with a stellar record for nine years. Empathizing with Stan, Mike reveals that the background check was five years old, meaning that Tori knew about the fraud for half a decade. Stan believes that Tori did not mind the fraud as he made the firm money, but that he is being fired now after he looked into Aberdeen Solutions.
    • Mike and Harvey look into Aberdeen Solutions and discover that Pearson Hardman is charged by Aberdeen every month for management services despite them unable to discover what management services are being done. After Mike breaks into a rival law firm and reads their internal documents, Rachel types them as he dictates off-memory. Hiring Stan to be their independent consultant, Harvey and Mike discover that Tori is using Aberdeen, a shelf company, to steal money from Pearson Hardman every month to line her own pockets.
    • After dealing with Tori, Stan believes he would be getting his job back, only for Harvey to notify him that he would not get hired due to his fraud and that he should use the money from the severance package, as well as the money he received for his independent consultation, to tide things over until he is able to move on. Stan then solemnly tells Mike that he wishes he never committed the fraud, prompting Mike to ask Harvey why he hired him in the first place despite the fraud. Harvey explains that life is a low bar and he prefers a higher bar, and that if Mike can't accept their current situation, he is free to leave. Harvey then goes to Jessica's office, where Jessica thanks him for preventing Tori's actions. However, Harvey reminds her that he only got it done because of Mike, whom Jessica wanted to fire earlier for preventing Stan's immediate firing. Jessica then admits that she would give Mike the benefit of the doubt from here on.

Cultural References

  • Harvey tells Louis that he reminds him of Frasier Crane's little brother, with Louis quickly defending Niles Crane as misunderstood.



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