October 25, 2021

Georgiou Payne Stewien LLP advises vendors on sale of North Head to Sandpiper Communications

Georgiou Payne Stewien LLP, led by corporate partner head, Brett Stewien, represented the vendors of North Head, a leading China-based public affairs and strategic communications consultancy.

North Head is an independent strategic communications consultancy with a clear China focus. Focused on a research- and knowledge-based approach, North Head works on international campaigns and reputation management. Led by industry veterans, John Russell, Robert Magyar, and Joyce Li, North Head was established in Beijing in 2010. Over the past decade its team has advised leading multinational businesses and brands in China and across Asia Pacific on high-stakes, complex public affairs and communications challenges. 

Sandpiper Communications is a strategic communications consultancy based in Asia Pacific and operating globally. Sandpiper has been expanding its regional presence and has been recognised as Asia Pacific’s fastest growing agency and Asia Pacific PR Agency of the Year by PRWeek Asia in 2021

John Russell, Managing Director, Sandpiper North Head, said: “Having successfully and happily worked together with the Sandpiper team over the years on various clients, I am excited that North Head will now join formally the Sandpiper family. This is a win-win move, with many synergies given the complementary profiles and strengths of Sandpiper and North Head.  The outcomes will be a stronger offering to our clients and enhanced opportunities for all our employees.”

Emma Smith, Chief Executive, Sandpiper Communications, said: “North Head has been a long-term partner to our business, and after many years of friendship I am thrilled to officially welcome their wonderful team to our family. Our offerings are incredibly complementary, and the acquisition will strengthen our Greater China presence and network-wide public affairs advisory capability. With the increasing complexity and uncertainty across the global business environment, it is critical that strategic communications efforts consider and align with government agendas and North Head’s experience will bring a deeper perspective to our expertise in this area."

Brett Stewien, the GPS partner who led the firm’s deal team, said: "Congratulations to John and Robert on this transaction. I wish them and the North Head team every success in their new venture with Sandpiper. I was pleased to have the opportunity to support them through this exciting acquisition.” said.

John Russell, Managing Director, Sandpiper North Head, further added: “Brett Stewien and his GPS team have been a pleasure to work with over past years and were particularly effective in supporting this transaction with Sandpiper. Brett’s guidance was crucial to navigating the cross-border legal processes of different jurisdictions. We are grateful for GPS’s high-quality assistance.”