Williams Parker Celebrates 90th Anniversary
Founded in 1925, the preeminent law firm has been integrally involved with the region’s growth as a cosmopolitan center.
(Sarasota, FL) The year 1925 was a watershed year for Sarasota. It was the year that John Nolen, the nationally renowned city planner, established the comprehensive plan that laid the groundwork for Sarasota’s growth as a cosmopolitan destination. That same year saw the birth of the community hospital now known as Sarasota Memorial Hospital. It was also the year that the Sarasota Herald was launched, now called the Sarasota Herald Tribune. And 1925 was the year that J.J. Williams, a young attorney from Memphis, joined Sydney Perry to found Perry & Williams, one of the region’s first law firms. As Sarasota grew, the firm expanded; over the years it has advised the entrepreneurs, visionaries, and organizations who have shaped our community.
Under J.J. Williams’ leadership, the firm helped clients navigate the turbulent waters of the Great Depression and World War II. As new attorneys joined the firm in the decades that followed, they have carried on the tradition of integrity Williams started. In the early 1950s, W. Davis Parker, William T. Harrison Jr. and George Dietz associated with the firm. Later that decade, William E. Getzen joined the firm and, by 1968, it had become known as Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen. Today, locals refer to the firm as Williams Parker.
“We counseled many of the visionaries behind the area’s transformation during the 1950s and ’60s,” says William T. Harrison Jr., one of the firm’s first partners. “By the dawn of the 21st century, Nolen would not recognize the city Sarasota had become. Our clients reinvented it as a globally recognized center of art, culture, and sophistication.”
Ric Gregoria, the firm’s president, appreciates the importance of this legacy.
“Mr. Williams stressed the importance of service to the community and devotion to excellence in the practice of law,” he says. “To this day, our attorneys carry his values forward. I’m proud of the great contributions we have made to our clients and to our community. Today’s visionaries and leaders continue to rely on us. The region’s most innovative entrepreneurs, developers, and philanthropists come to us for guidance and leadership. Thanks to their efforts, the last 90 years have been a time of great transformation in Sarasota. I trust the visionaries we work with today will make the next 90 years equally transformative. We don’t know what the future will bring. But we’re here to help every step of the way.”
About Williams Parker
Williams Parker was founded in 1925 and is Sarasota’s largest independent law firm. It focuses on high capital families, developers, entrepreneurs, and significant non-profit institutions. The firm offers one of Florida’s largest trusts and estates practices, an accomplished real estate and litigation practice, as well as a significant corporate practice and tax group with substantial depth including tax controversy capabilities. The Williams Parker team takes great pride in its contribution to Sarasota’s heritage and ongoing investment in the area’s future. The firm is located at 200 South Orange Avenue, Sarasota; 941-366-4800; www.williamsparker.com.