WASHINGTON -- Wood Dawson & Hellman, the bond counsel firm that attracted nationwide attention in the mid-1980s when it was sued by the holders of $2.25 billion of defaulted Washington Public Power Supply System bonds, is being absorbed by Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, Hawkins announced Friday.

All eight Wood Dawson partners will join Hawkins Delafield as of today. The absorption of the firm, which agreed in August 1988 to pay bondholders $500,000 to settle the lawsuit filed over the firm's role as WPPSS bond counsel, signals the end of small, specialized New York municipal bond firms, market observers said.

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