Sarasota Magazine’s 2021 Women of Influence
Williams Parker was founded during the Roaring Twenties on the golden promise of Florida real estate. The year was 1925, and the Sunshine State was at the height of the Great Florida Land Boom. From the top floor of Sarasota’s first skyscraper and with spectacular views of the bay, the firm’s founders quickly grasped the enormity of the opportunity and complexities of the challenge ahead, and they organized around the singular goal of making a significant contribution to the birth of a modern Sarasota. Williams Parker counseled the Arvida Corporation in developing John and Mable Ringling’s vision for Bird, Lido and Longboat Keys, and prepares the legal work for countless planned communities. Over its history, Williams Parker has been integral to Sarasota’s transformation from sleepy fishing village to glittering urban jewel and is proud to continue being an essential partner of its present and future.
We are especially proud of the leadership roles our female colleagues have taken in our real estate law practice. Historically, women have been major players in Southwest Florida real estate, beginning with the indomitable and innovative Bertha Palmer. A pioneer in many fields, Mrs. Palmer set the stage for major real estate developers to implement their grand visions for Florida land development. Other women, including Madira Bickel and Marie Selby, committed to visions of real estate not just in terms of development, but in conservation of the environment for the public good. In the modern era, Williams Parker real estate attorneys like Michele, Terri and Christa carry forward those traditions and, with Amy, Nicole and Hayleigh, they will continue to tackle legal complexities in order to realize the aspirations of our community’s visionaries.
At Williams Parker, our real estate law history over the past century is among our signature achievements. We strive to uphold that legacy and the legacy of our influential women who have helped build it.
- For nearly a century, Williams Parker has been committed to community service and excellence in the practice of law.
- Thirty-three of our attorneys have at least one advanced degree, in taxation, accounting or business, or are board certified by The Florida Bar as specialists in their areas of practice.
- All of our attorneys are active members and leaders in their communities, with many serving on boards and providing counsel to area nonprofits and real estate organizations including the Realtor- Attorney Joint Committee of the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) and the Sarasota County Bar Association (SCBA) Real Property Section.
- Michele was the first female attorney hired at Williams Parker in 1978 and served as the first woman president of the Sarasota County Bar Association in 1995.
- Williams Parker is second to none in its experience in financing, taxation, contracting, land use, planned development, condominiums and waterfront matters.
- The firm values its long-standing connections with top real estate professionals, buyers, sellers, developers and investors.
- Williams Parker has helped guide the growth of Sarasota’s skyline, neighborhoods, banks, schools, hospitals and thriving airport. Our history speaks for itself.
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