Songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller have filed suit against the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb and attorney John Frankenheimer for breach of contract and legal malpractice.

LOS ANGELES -- Songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller have filed suit against the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb and attorney John Frankenheimer for breach of contract and legal malpractice.

Leiber and Stoller say they signed a June 2002 agreement with the firm to provide tax advice in connection with the sale of their publishing companies Trio Music, Quartet Music and their subsidiaries to Windswept Classics. Frankenheimer was lead counsel on the deal, which closed May 1, 2003.

Leiber and Stoller claim that Loeb & Loeb and Frankenheimer breached an agreement with the writers by failing to advise them about a decrease in capital gains rates that took effect five days after the sale closed. They also allege they were not told it was possible to structure the sale to take advantage of the lower tax rate.

"These failures on the part of Loeb & Loeb and Frankenheimer fell below the standard of care for attorneys practicing transactional and tax law," the suit alleges.

Leiber and Stoller claim damages in excess of $2.7 million and seek awards to be determined.

The writers filed their action without an attorney in Los Angeles Superior Court April 30 (case no. BC314884).

Frankenheimer did not return a call seeking comment.