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By Marcia Lane
Photo by Kate Gardiner
In 1925, St. Augustine was booming, and businesses and professionals flocked to the city. Among those setting up shop in business were attorneys Frank Upchurch Sr. and Col. W.A. MacWilliams. Their firm would eventually become Upchurch, Bailey & Upchurch.
“We’re on our fourth generation of lawyers,” said Frank D. Upchurch III, a partner who also serves as the attorney for the St. Johns County School Board.
Today the firm includes John D. Bailey Jr., Donald Wallis, Sidney Ansbacher, Erin Rohan Smith, Katherine Gaertner Jones, Michael Siragusa, Stephen Faustini and Allyson Boyles Currie. Tracy Wilson Upchurch, part of the third generation, is listed as “of counsel” and teaches at Flagler College.
“We have a pretty diverse civil practice. We don’t do criminal law. And we don’t do personal injury work,” said Upchurch, noting the firm’s lawyers cover a wide range of specialties including commercial litigating, environmental, zoning and land use law, corporate and business law, banking and commercial lending, commercial litigation, will, trusts and estates, condominium and subdivision law, and education and school law.
Those in the practice are involved with a variety of local community groups, including Flagler College, the St. Augustine Historical Society and local churches and boards, including United Way of St. Johns County.
The firm, the oldest in St. Augustine, has through the years provided judges, members of the Florida legislature and mayors. Col. W.A. MacWilliams who served 22 years in the Florida Legislature, and Frank D. Upchurch Jr. was appointed a judge for the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals. Hamilton D. Upchurch was a mayor of St. Augustine and elected to the Florida House of Representatives.
Upchurch, Bailey & Upchurch • 780 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd • (904)829-9066