1925: Firm Founded
JJ Williams, Jr. hangs a shingle and briefly is sole practitioner at Commercial Court on Central between First and Third. Williams joins Sidney Rawson Perry forming Perry & Williams on top floor (7th floor) of First Bank and Trust Building, later called the Palmer Bank Building. Firm briefly was Williams, Perry & Williamson.
JJ Williams, Jr. came to Sarasota during a major land boom. No ordinary young lawyer, he was the son of a powerful mayor of Memphis at a time when that city was booming and expanding. Learning from his father, the younger Williams watched as political and legal battles were fought and won over how a rapidly growing Memphis would be designed as it expanded. Those lessons in hand, JJ Williams, Jr. hung a shingle in Sarasota in 1925 on the seventh floor of the new Palmer Bank Building, the highest floor of the tallest building in town. Williams Parker was founded and would forevermore shape the booming, pretty little city by the bay. Sarasota’s skyline, neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, and services all began to bear the stamp of Williams Parker’s careful and thoughtful law craft. JJ Williams, Jr. known as the ‘Gray Ghost’ for his quiet, confident presence on bank and government boards, navigated the firm through the lean years of the Great Depression. The end of WWII were boom times again for Sarasota, and Williams Parker began the first of its major expansions with the hiring of young, war-veteran lawyers Parker, Harrison, Dietz, and Getzen, partnering with the area’s most prominent real estate titans to develop islands, skyscrapers, hospitals, schools, and airports and turning Florida’s swamp land into some of the most coveted real estate in the world. Booms and expansion occurred again in the 1990’s, 2000’s, and again today. Williams Parker expanded each time, diversifying its legal team and legal experience while always staying true to our founder’s vision of a prestige law firm whose work always ‘cut straight corners,’ practicing law with rigor, integrity, and excellence second to none.Return to Full Timeline