The apparent end of a sticking point between Bank of America Corp. and investigators of the Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. takeover highlights the pitfalls of big companies hiring numerous law firms for legal opinions.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that Bank of America, in a reversal from prior stances, had agreed to a "broad waiver" of attorney-client privilege claims that the company had used to resist requests for information. A federal judge must still approve their agreement.

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