Top litigator buys Estates at Acqualina condo

Sale marks first closing in development’s north tower

Kirkland & Ellis' Andrew Kassof with Estates at Acqualina
Kirkland & Ellis' Andrew Kassof with Estates at Acqualina (Kirkland & Ellis, Google Maps, Getty)

A top litigator at a multinational law firm bought a condo at Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach for $8 million.

Records show Andrew and Susan Kassof bought unit 2701 at the north tower of the two-tower Estates at Acqualina condominium complex at 17901 Collins Avenue. An affiliate of the developer, Trump Group, sold the unit. The Kassofs financed the purchase with a $5.5 million mortgage from Associated Bank.

Andrew Kassof is a litigator and partner with the Chicago-based law firm Kirkland & Ellis, which has offices across the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Kirkland & Ellis became the first law firm to top $4 billion in revenue in 2019, Bloomberg reported. The firm’s alumni include Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr.

Kirkland & Ellis recently signed a lease for 115,000 square feet on six floors at 830 Brickell, the 55-story office tower that is under construction in Miami. Vlad Doronin’s OKO Group and Jonathan Goldstein’s Cain International are developing the building. Kassof is currently based in the Chicago office, according to the firm’s website.

The Kassofs’ purchase appears to be the first closing in the north tower.

The north tower’s condo declaration was recorded last week. Property records have not yet been updated to reflect square footage or the numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms in the unit. 

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Trump Group’s Estates at Acqualina includes a 49-story, 154-unit south tower where closings began in June, and the 52-story, 94-unit north tower. It is the developer’s third project in Sunny Isles Beach. The Trump Group, led by Jules Trump and his brother Eddie Trump, has no affiliation with Donald Trump.

Estates at Acqualina includes a 45,000-square-foot amenities villa with an ice rink, bowling alley and movie theater. The buildings’ lobbies were designed by Karl Lagerfeld, and the New York City-based Greek restaurant Avra opened Avra Miami Estiatorio late last year.

The development has been plagued by back-and-forth legal battles between Trump Group and the project’s builder, Suffolk Construction. The issues center on allegations of unpaid work and missed construction deadlines, court documents show.

After the two firms settled their respective lawsuits in May, Trump Group and Suffolk reopened their complaints in the fall. Trump Group is seeking $50 million in damages, and Suffolk’s latest complaint asks for $20 million.

Despite the litigation, big name buyers have been closing on units in the development. Leslie Edelman, the head of luxury gun manufacturer Kimber, bought a unit for $21.3 million in December. Mexican pharmaceuticals heir Alberto Saba bought a condo for $10.1 million in November. Basketball star LeBron James bought a unit for $9 million in October.

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