Name: Virginia Trunkes
Company Name: Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, P.C.
Years in real estate: 10
What real estate associations or organizations are you a member of? NYC Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee, American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, and Women in Housing and Finance-New York.
How have you navigated obstacles to achieve success in your career? As you progress in your career, you need to find your right “fit” at each stage, and also decide on your particular practice area while you’re still learning it. In the new economy it is imperative that a professional services provider have a specialty, at least in the NYC metro market. In my past, I practiced in many interesting areas, but without a plan. When I discovered construction law a decade ago I instinctually leaned toward it. I’m fortunate to have later navigated my way to a full service real estate firm where I’m now practicing construction law regularly.
How do you play your strengths to your advantage in your career? Apparently I’m “collaborative,” and this is a “rare quality” in a litigator. I attribute that personality characteristic to my acquiring my present chair-ship of the Construction Law Committee at the NYC Bar Association. Our Committee membership is diverse, consisting of attorneys at firms both large and small, and at government agencies, representing owners, contractors and design professionals, plus several non-attorneys from the construction world who are closer to the assemblage of concrete and steel thousands of feet into the air. Working within this Committee has enabled me to learn the necessary knowledge, perspectives and jargon to be a better practitioner.
What trends are you seeing so far this year? Increasingly, cybercrime has found its way into the construction sector, messing with large players. Construction is a naturally appealing industry because each large project contains numerous proprietary assets (e.g., competitive bids, project data, plans and specifications, etc.), a multitude of employee data (“W-2 phishing”) and company bank and financial information for processing requisitions. There is also the potential to digitally attack industrial equipment and regional infrastructure. Thus, construction managers and property developers are prioritizing IT security, internal compliance and controls, and employee training. They are also exploring “cybersecurity insurance.”
What do you do for fun? I’ve re-discovered the thrill of bike-riding, although I wouldn’t say I’m ready to conquer midtown on two wheels just yet.