Two businessmen shaking hands.
Two businessmen shaking hands. ()

A restaurant franchise developer has sued his former lawyer Mitchell Vervoort, alleging that Vervoort reneged on a plan to take ownership in an eatery as consideration for his legal services.

“It seems he wanted to get into the coffee-and-crepe business,” said Adam Allen, a Houston solo, about Vervoort. Allen represents Youssef Nafaa, the plaintiff suing Vervoort.

In his petition filed in the 80th District Court in Houston, Nafaa alleges that Vervoort agreed that Nafaa could settle an outstanding bill for legal services if Nafaa would give Vervoort a contract for “one or more new franchised eatery locations” as “a trade.”

Nafaa alleges in the June 3 petition that after he “terminated” Vervoort on Dec. 10, 2013, Vervoort breached his agreement to take over a franchise from Nafaa and instead demanded payment of $43,227.57 in attorney fees. Nafaa further alleges that Vervoort then made a second demand for $19,447.20 in attorney fees, plus 15 percent from a settlement Nafaa had made with the owners of a taco restaurant.

Allen declined to identify the names of the franchise concepts that Nafaa owns. But Allen said, “It didn’t seem like it made a whole lot of sense for an attorney to go into the food business in the first place.”

Vervoort, who’s listed as a solo on the State Bar of Texas’ website, did not return a call seeking comment and has not yet filed an answer in Youssef Nafaa v. Mitchell Vervoort.