The past few months of market volatility have caused clients to hold off on deals, but attorneys and consultants have noted that the activity is nowhere near what firms experienced in 2008.

If nothing else, the current uncertainty in the markets has made everyone uneasy, says Ballard Spahr chairman Mark Stewart.

"The whole financial situation has everybody concerned and I think that's just affecting business in general," he said. Stewart said companies are delaying making investments or completing transactions as they monitor the market. Litigation is also affected.

"I think we are just at the beginning of it," Stewart said, adding that 2016 could be difficult, but it's still too early to tell. "In 2008, Stewart said, there were partners who told him they delayed retirement so the firm brought in professionals who helped them with retirement planning.

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