You need to be away for 1 year before being eligible for status. If you leave on September 30th, you're eligible for status as of October 1st the next year. If you apply in April - you're still going to be eligible for status as of October 1st, with or without the 1 year limitation. So it doesn't matter in your specific case. As long as you're staying for at least one year outside the US you're in the clear.
I see no reason why would you care about attorneys charging a lot. You're not supposed to pay a dime for H1b and employers are not allowed to shift any costs to you in any way. If they do - you can file a complaint with the DOL because they'd be breaking the law. That said, the question is trivial, and I doubt if it requires any significant research so if the attorney charges too much - you may suggest your employer to find a more qualified one.