Black Country law firm Higgs & Sons has advised on the acquisition of a local nature reserve.

Higgs & Sons acted for Neil Swann and Sarah Beales, trustees of one of the UK's leading reptile sanctuaries, Proteus, a non-profit making organisation, on the acquisition of Critters Farm, which operated the Cotwall End Nature Reserve.

The reserve, renamed Brockswood Animal Sanctuary, is a 16-acre site in Sedgley. It will continue to operate as a nature reserve but will now offer sanctuary for injured and unwanted animals and reptiles.

Recent additions include three emus, a pot bellied pig and six pigmy goats. The site will soon also house over 400 reptiles including crocodiles, lizards, turtles and pythons.

Nick Taylor, a partner in Higgs & Sons' corporate department, led the legal team with assistance from one of the firm's specialist commercial property solicitors, Nicola Reeve. As part of his role, Mr Taylor carried out a detailed due diligence exercise and advised on all contract documents.

Speaking of the acquisition, he said: "My clients have high ambitions for the new sanctuary, which takes in unwanted animals and reptiles - often pets which are proving too much for owners. We were pleased to offer specialist legal support to such a worthy business.

Neil Swann, proprietor, said: "Our new sanctuary has huge potential, with natural springs and pools on site and enough space to comfortably house our 400 reptiles. Our aim is to undertake conservation projects and build specialist enclosures both for the reptiles and a variety of other animals."

Higgs & Sons operates from four locations - Brierley Hill, Dudley, Stourbridge and Kingswinford.