Petek Günay Balatsas
Petek Günay Balatsas specializes in civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution with an emphasis on complex commercial and employment disputes, both domestic and international. As a native of Istanbul, Turkey, Petek is particularly well-equipped to serve the legal needs of her Turkish-speaking clients.
Petek has handled litigation matters involving many substantive areas of law, both in federal and state courts and before various arbitral and administrative bodies. On the business litigation side, Petek has significant experience prosecuting and defending high-stakes contract disputes, fraud and business torts, corporate veil-piercing claims, as well as partnership, membership and shareholder disputes. In her employment litigation practice, Petek regularly represents employers and employees alike in restrictive covenant, wage and hour, discrimination and trade secret disputes.
Petek firmly believes that a litigator’s function is not only to resolve litigation but also to prevent it. As such, she regularly uses her broad-based litigation experience to counsel and advise clients on business, employment and compliance issues. In the same vein, Petek has drafted, reviewed and negotiated countless agreements for her clients including, but certainly not limited to, employment, executive compensation and severance agreements, service and production agreements, nondisclosure/confidentiality agreements, architectural, construction, art purchase and art advisory agreements.
Petek is a graduate of the internationally acclaimed Robert College High School in Istanbul, Turkey, and received her B.A. in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After graduation, Petek joined the New York branch of Vakifbank, a Turkish commercial bank, as an Operations and Foreign Exchange Analyst. Petek subsequently attended, and graduated cum laude from, Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of Law and Policy and a Dean’s Merit Scholar.
Petek started her legal career working for Judd Burstein, P.C., under the tutelage of one of the leading trial attorneys in New York. Following subsequent associations with Meister Seelig and Fein LLP and Salon Marrow Dyckman Newman & Broudy LLP, two other prestigious firms, in 2013 Petek started her own boutique civil litigation firm, Gunay Law, P.C. Motivated by the growth of Gunay Law and impressed by the team and culture at Dunning Rievman LLP, in 2021, Petek proudly accepted an offer to join the firm as a partner.
In 2020, Petek was recognized by The American Turkish Society, a reputable nonprofit organization established in 1949 to enhance business, economic, and cultural ties between Turkey and the United States, as one of the organization’s Young Society Leaders, a group of accomplished professionals with a demonstrated record of leadership ability and commitment to serve the U.S.-Turkish community at large.
In 2021, Petek was featured in “Amerika’da Nasıl Başardılar?” (“How Did They Succeed in the U.S.?”), a book comprised of interviews with seventeen Turkish-born individuals recognized for outstanding accomplishments in the United States in the fields of business, law and science.
Press Release – Business Insider – “The American Turkish Society Announces its Eighth Class of Young Society Leaders” – YSLs”, January 13, 2020. Read here.
Article – Turk of America Magazine – “She Knows When to “Speak Softly” and When to “Carry a Big Stick”, October 7, 2014. Read here.
Panel Discussion – Bin Yaprak – “Hukuk Alaninda Yurtdisinda Staj ve Is Imkanlari” (“Internship and Job Opportunities Abroad in the Legal Field”), January 22, 2021. Watch here.