Lawyers say cross-border transaction, a big source of revenue for law firms, will likely be impacted substantially by the British vote to exit the European Union.

The British vote to leave the EU created new problems for many American companies, where the United Kingdom has been a launching pad for selling into the European continent. Britain's exit means that U.K.-based companies, or U.S. subsidiaries there, risk losing the favorable trading terms that go along with EU membership.

However, Craig Circosta, head of the mergers-and-acquisitions practice at Ballard Spahr, said the decline in value of the British pound may actually create some buying opportunities, but like most deal lawyers, he foresees significant investor caution in the months ahead.

Circosta does a brisk business in U.S. firms seeking a foothold overseas, but he sees activity in the U.K. and possibly the European Union dropping off for the time being.

"In the intermediate or short term, there is going to be a slowdown," he said.

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