A legal battle over the estate of musical theatre lyricist Richard Adler has erupted between lawyers and his widow.

The Tony award-winning composer, who wrote the music and lyrics to Broadway shows Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game, died in 2012, aged 90.

His widow Susan Ivory is now embroiled in a dispute over his $22 million (£13 million) estate with his lawyer Norman Solovay, who accuses her of trying to "misappropriate" funds from Adler's grandchildren from a previous marriage.

In legal papers filed at Manhattan's Surrogate's Court, the lawyer also claims she spent more money in 2010 than Adler's music company made.

According to a report by the New York Post, Solovay claims, "She continued to refuse to recognise the grandchildren's... trust interest in the music company and to misappropriate their funds in a way that now might well be described as theft."

Ivory is also accused of manipulating Adler into amending his will while his health was deteriorating, making her co-executor of the estate with Solovay. The change allegedly deprived Adler's friends and charitable organisations of funds.

The majority of Adler's estate was divided between Ivory and his only son Andrew. Ivory has not responded to the claims.