Expensive Malibu Spec Mansion Paid for by Powerful London Lawyer
Burdge Architects designed a mansion for one of the United Kingdom's top attorneys and his high-society wife in Los Angeles. The property sits high above Malibu's Carbon Beach, the most exclusive beach in the world. A $47.5 million home was first listed last year, but it ultimately sold for a discounted but still hefty $38 million to Michael and Giovanna Steele.
In spite of the fact that it may seem odd for a lawyer to be able to afford a $38 million home, Steele is not your average attorney. As an equity partner at Kirkland & Ellis, the world's largest law firm by revenue, Steele specializes in major corporate transactions, mergers, and acquisitions, primarily for private equity firms. Steele is one of Kirkland's "top finance attorneys" with a "strong reputation for handling complex transactions," according to his former chairman.
What is the complexity? GLP sold its logistics business for $18.7 billion in 2019 - the largest private property deal in global history. Although Kirkland's fees for that transfer are not publicly available, it will have earned hundreds of millions even if it received just a small percentage. Furthermore, Kirkland & Ellis, which recently broke a record for gross revenue, is one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. The Kirkland equity partners regularly share in the company's profits, including Steele as an equity partner.
In the case of Giovanna Steele (née Eastwood), she is the daughter of a Brazilian socialite and the late British composer Thomas Eastwood. With the launch of Ethical Collection London in 2015, she started a sustainable fashion label.
Located on nearly 22 acres of rugged hillside, the Steeles' new modern compound was built by developer Kirkor Suri in 2021. This two-level home features five bedrooms and nine baths, stone floors, high ceilings, and designer lighting fixtures. Massive pocketing glass doors blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces and provide sweeping ocean views as clerestory windows run the length of the living spaces.
A striking glass-clad mansion greets visitors with a pivoting door, which leads to a double-height entry with a floating glass staircase illuminated with LED lights. An elegant great room with a fireplace highlights the main floor. Gourmet kitchen with top-tier stainless appliances and a massive island with an eat-in bar adjoins a family room.
Featuring a fireplace, private patio, walk-in closet, and soaking tub, the master retreat is a luxurious retreat. The lower-level features a sumptuous entertainment lounge with a poker room and wine cellar, as well as three additional ensuite bedroom suites. There is also an elevator, an indoor spa, a fitness center, a steam room/sauna, a beauty salon, and a massage room, among other chic amenities.
An infinity-edged pool and spa flanked by grassy lawns and built-in seating complete the property's lush grounds with an al fresco entertaining area with a barbecue. An attached three-car garage and a spacious motorcourt are also available. It is likely that the HOA fees on the gated hillside street will cover some of the cost of armed security for the new owners.
The Steeles own a stunning Grade II-listed historic estate in Gloucestershire, about 100 miles northwest of London, in addition to their palatial Malibu home.