A new Birmingham company has been launched to address alleged overcharging by solicitors.

Focusing primarily on businesses with large legal bills, Legal Costmasters says it can call on barristers, solicitors, legal executives and costs draftsmen to help with cases.

Working on a "no win no fee" basis, it will examine legal bills seeking to ensure firms are not paying over the odds.

It states: "If your bill is higher than it should be, Legal Costmasters will negotiate with your solicitor or seek the assistance of the court to get it reduced, only charging a commission on the saving gained."

Gary Smith, chief executive of the Colmore Row-based firm, said: "The feeling of being 'stung' by a legal bill is a cliche associated with the legal trade that has its roots in the profession's billing culture.

"The sorry fact is that it is a state of affairs that can put businesses off seeking legal advice in the first place.

"Seeking good legal advice is essential to ensuring a company's safety and security and in overcoming adversity.

"Legal Costmasters has been launched to give companies the confidence that they are not paying over the odds for legal services, providing increased confidence that securing a solicitor's services is a worthwhile investment."

It plans to work with both business and private clients.

A team of six - including Mr Smith - is employed in Birmingham.

They will handle technical administration, with further expertise from other quarters drawn upon as required.