WASHINGTON As banks find themselves in hot water with the Department of Justice's fairlending prosecutors, they are increasingly turning to the Washington office of the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flora law firm.

The office's 13-member team has represented Shawmut National Bank and Chevy Chase Federal Savings Bank in their cases with the department. It also is representing ,Barnett Banks Inc:, which the Ju.stice Department has said it is planning to sue.

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