WASHINGTON -- A New York law firm said it has paid the Resolution Trust Corp. $45 million in restitution to avoid years of costly litigation with the government agency.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and former partner Peter R. Haje also consented to a cease and desist order issued by the Office of Thrift Supervision that "circumscribes" their future representation of banks and thrifts and suspends Mr. Haje from practice before the OTS.

The RTC was pressing the law firm for claims arising from their representation of $8.2 billion-asset Centrust Bank in Miami and its predecessor, Dade Savings Association.

Centrust failed in 1990 at an estimated cost to the taxpayers of $1.6 billion. David Paul, the chairman of the thrift, faces criminal charges.

Represented Acquiring Company

The OTS said its charges stemmed from the firm's 1983 representation of Westport Co. in its successful bid to acquire Dade savings.

OTS said Mr. Haje his firm failed to tell federal regulators that Westport's assets included a contractual obligation to buy a $2.3 million luxury yacht.

Mr. Haje and the firm consented to the OTS order without admitting or denying the charges.

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