Few big deals gain the government's blessing without some help from William J. Sweet Jr., who leads the regulatory practice at the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm.

Whether it is Great Western Financial Corp.'s merger with Washington Mutual, Banc One Corp.'s acquisition of First USA, or Wells Fargo's bid for First Interstate, Mr. Sweet and his law firm cleared away the regulatory hurdles.

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