Harvey E. Oyer III is a partner in the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Land Use Practice Group.

As a fifth generation native of Palm Beach County, Harvey brings a unique perspective to his understanding of the issues facing the region, its real estate market and development. He is one of the region’s leading land use & zoning lawyers, having led the approval of many of the county’s largest and most iconic projects and having represented many of the most prominent names in the industry. Clients he represents include commercial and residential developers, cultural institutions, and large farming interests in real estate transactions, finance, land use, zoning, agricultural law, and government affairs.

Harvey counsels his clients in the:

  • acquisition, entitlement, financing and development of all types of commercial and residential properties;
  • acquisition, sale and leasing of agricultural and rural lands; and
  • creation of mitigation and conservation banks.

Harvey has earned numerous professional and community awards, including being named one of the "100 Most Influential Floridians" by Florida International Magazine and receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Harvey has been recognized as one of the “25 Most Powerful People in Palm Beach County,” was named a Legend of West Palm Beach e and has been included in Florida Trend’s “Florida 500” every year that the list has been published. He currently serves as Chairman of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, a director of Good Samaritan Medical Center, and a Trustee and General Counsel of the Cox Science Center and Aquarium. He is past Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

Harvey is an accomplished historian, lecturer, and writer on law, history, and archaeology topics as well as international laws on antiquities trafficking and cultural property protection. He served as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and the Florida Atlantic University Honors College. He is the author of five award-winning and best-selling children’s books that are widely used in Florida schools. In 2013, he was named Florida’s Distinguished Author. Harvey is a former Marine Corps Captain and part-time adventurer, who cross-country-skied to the North Pole in April 2018 and canoed across the Florida Everglades from the Gulf of Mexico to Biscayne Bay in 2022, which had not been accomplished in 125 years.



  • University of Florida College of Law, J.D., with honors, 1998
  • Cambridge University, Master of Archaeology, 1994
  • University of Florida, B.A., with high honors, Economics, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Professional and Civic

  • United States Marine Corps Reserve (Captain) (Honorably Discharged)
  • Chair, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (2 terms)
  • Past Chair, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
  • Past Chair, Forum Club of the Palm Beaches
  • Past Chair, Historical Society of Palm Beach County (7 terms)
  • Director, Good Samaritan Medical Center
  • General Counsel, Secretary and Trustee, Cox Science Center & Aquarium
  • Past Director, The Promise Fund
  • Past Director, Florida Historical Society
  • Past President, Cambridge Society of Florida
  • Past Director, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Past Director, Palm Beach County Education Commission
  • Past President, Lake Worth Pioneers Association
  • Past Director, Palm Beach County Cultural Council
  • Past Trustee, Palm Beach United Way
  • Past Director, Palm Beach State College Foundation
  • Past Director, American Red Cross, Palm Beach Area Chapter
  • World Fellow, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Foundation (U.K.)
  • Order of St. John (Jerusalem Eye Hospital)
  • City of West Palm Beach Mayor's Transition Team (Mayor Jeri Muoio, 2011)
  • Palm Beach County Centennial Committee (appointed by Palm Beach County Commissioner Karen Marcus), 2002–2009
  • City of West Palm Beach Library/City Hall Site Selection Committee (appointed by Mayor Lois Frankel), 2005
  • Past Advisory Board Member, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation
  • City of West Palm Beach Downtown Master Plan Revision Committee (appointed by Mayor Lois Frankel), 2006
  • Past Advisory Board, University of Florida College of Law International Programs (1998—2004)
  • Delegate, Askew Institute for Public Policy (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Member, Explorers Club
  • Member, West Palm Beach Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow)
  • Sons of the American Revolution, Palm Beach Chapter
  • American Legion, Post 164

News & Insights

News & Speaking Engagements


  • Author, "Renovation plans for CityPlace's Himmel theater would preserve its historic charm," The Palm Beach Post, May 28, 2024
  • Quoted, "West Palm Beach residents want historic designation for Himmel theater," ABC 25 WPBF News, May 28, 2024
  • Quoted, "Plans for apartments in West Palm Beach south end move forward; some residents concerned," The Palm Beach Post, December 29, 2023
  • Quoted, "He was Always a Gentleman: Former West Palm Beach Mayor Joel Daves Dies at 93," The Palm Beach Post, July 2021
  • Mentioned, "Residents Clash Over High-Rise Towers Proposal in West Palm Beach's Northwood Neighborhood," 12 News, July 2021
  • The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: Charlie and the Tycoon, 2016 (Children's Book) (2017 James J. Horgan Award)
  • The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: Charlie and the Barefoot Mailman, 2015 (Children's Book) (2016 Florida Authors & Publishers Association Gold Medal for Florida: Juvenile Age)
  • The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Calusa, 2012 (Children's Book) (2013 Florida Publishers Association Gold Medal for Florida Children's Fiction, 2013 James Horgan Award)
  • The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret, 2010 (Children's Book) (2010 Mom's Choice Award, 2011 Florida Book Award, 2011 James Horgan Award, 2011 Florida Publishers Association Gold Medal for Children's Literature, Florida First Lady Ann Scott's Recommended Summer 2011 Reading List for Children)
  • The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The American Jungle, 2008 (Children's Book) (2010 Florida Publishers Association Gold Medals for Children's Literature and Best Florida Children's Book)
  • Wrote the Foreward, Pioneering Palm Beach: The Deweys and the South Florida Frontier, by Ginger L. Pedersen and Janet M. Devries, 2012
  • Wrote the Foreword, Pioneer Life in Southeast Florida, 2nd Ed., by Charles W. Pierce, 2008
  • Wrote the Foreword, Lila Vanderbilt Webb's Miradero, A Window on an Era, by Robert Ganger, 2005 (National Book Award winner)
  • Wrote the Foreword, Black, Gold and Silver Sands, A Pictorial History of Agriculture in Palm Beach County, by James Snyder, 2004
  • "The Wreck of the Providencia in 1878 and the Naming of Palm Beach County," Vol. 29, South Florida History, Nov. 4, 2001
  • "Barefoot Mailman, A Job that Became a Legend," Vol. 28, South Florida History, Nov. 4, 2000
  • "Planned Unit Developments," Chapter in Florida Environmental and Land Use Law (2000)
  • "The 1954 Hague Convention For The Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Is it Working? A Case Study: The Persian Gulf War Experience," 23 Columbia J.L. & Arts 49 (1999)
  • Panel Reporter, 93rd Meeting of the American Society of International Law, "Crisis Action: Governmental Lawyers' Roles in International Crisis," 93 ASIL Proc. (1999)
  • "The Extraterritorial Application of U.S. Unilateral Trade Sanctions and Their Impact on U.S. Obligations Under NAFTA," 11 Fla. J. Int'l L. 429 (1997)
  • An Analysis of the Distribution, Abundance, and Metallurgical Composition of Anglo-Saxon Ornamental Gold Metalwork, Masters Thesis, Faculty of Archaeology, Cambridge University (1994)

Industry Focus


  • Florida 500, Florida Trend, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Lawyer of the Year: Land Use and Zoning Law, 2022
    • Land Use & Zoning, 2010, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
    • Real Estate Law, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Harvey’s book The Last Egret was included on the 100 Best Student Reading List in the Nation, a list compiled by Florida Commissioner of Education
  • The 25 Most Powerful People in Palm Beach County, Boca Life Magazine, 2018
  • Presidential Citation, Florida Historical Society, 2018
  • Legendary Local of West Palm Beach, 2015
  • Palm Beach County Education Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Florida's Distinguished Author, 2013
  • National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution National Community Service Award, 2013
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 2011
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite, 2011
  • Judge James R. Knott Award, 2010Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Special Recognition Award, 2010
  • Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, Individual Distinguished Service Award, 2009
  • Florida Association of Museums, Outstanding Trustee Award, 2008
  • Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Service, 2006
  • Named one of the "100 Most Influential Floridians," Florida International Magazine, 2006
  • South Florida CEO's "Power Player," 2006
  • "Top Lawyer," Jupiter Magazine, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • "Top Lawyer," Palm Beach Illustrated, 2021, 2022
  • Delta Kappa Gamma Community Leadership Award, 2006
  • Great Floridians Committee (appointed by Florida State Senate President Tom Lee; re-appointed by Florida Senate Presidents Ken Pruitt and Jeff Atwater), 2005 – 2011
  • Named one of South Florida Legal Guide's "Up & Comers," 2005 and 2006
  • March of Dimes Building Our Community Excellence Award, 2004
  • American Cancer Society West Palm Beach Pioneering Leader Award, 2004
  • Colonial Dames XVII Century Florida Community Service Award, 2003
  • Sons of the American Revolution Florida Community Service Award, 2002
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa
  • 1992 Rotary International Scholar, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)
  • University of Florida Hall of Fame
  • Most Outstanding Male Leader, University of Florida, 1990
  • University of Florida Academy of Golden Gators inductee, 2023

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