F1 to H4 EAD Change of Status questions

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Hi Everyone,
I am currently working on F1 OPT which is expiring on July 8, 2022. My husband has approved I-140. I am planning to move from F1 to H4-EAD. I have some questions regarding that:
1. My employer's attorney told me that they cannot file H4 and H4EAD before 180 days of my F1 OPT expiration which is Jan 10, 2022. Is it true? (I did not find any official link or document regarding that)
2. Current processing times for I-539 (F1 to H4 COS) is showing atleast 10 months on every center, and it is going max till 14 months. If there is anyone who has gone through this process recently and confirm the processing times? If there is premium processing option available for F1 to H4 application with some extra fees which can expedite the process?
3. What happens if I apply for H4 and H4-EAD on January 10,2022 and the application doesn’t get approved till July 9, 2022? Will I have to take a break in employment?
4. If answer to previous question is yes, Can I apply for H4 and H4-EAD now with start date as 180 days from today? I understand that this will overlap with F1-OPT but if the H4 gets approved, then I don’t have to take a break in employment?
5. In the scenario mentioned in point (4), if the H4 doesn’t get approved in 180 days from filing from today, Can I continue to work on F1 OPT till F1-OPT expires or H4 application gets approved? 
6. I have one more chance available for H1B lottery next year. How does all the above scenarios impact the application for H1B lottery next year?

Apologies for asking a lot of questions. I hope you can understand that some of these laws are unclear, and I do not want a break in employment.

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