Douglas Smurr is Of Counsel in the Commercial Litigation; Cannabis, Hemp & CBD; Business Transactions; International; Immigration & Naturalization; White Collar Criminal Defense; and Government Regulatory & Administrative Law practice groups at GRSM. For over 30 years, he has been a practicing international business attorney maintaining a diverse litigation and transaction practice from offices based in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Douglas is a dual national of the United States and Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.
As a co-founder of the Cannabis, Hemp & CBD Practice Group, Douglas has maintained an active cannabis and hemp practice since 2008, representing clients at the municipal, county, state, and court of appeal levels. He currently represents one of the largest cannabis entities in the United States and jointly represents clients in various states in the hemp, CBD, medicinal and adult-use cannabis sectors. His extensive cannabis, hemp and CBD practice covers licensing, regulation, land use and permits, business formation and structuring, mergers and acquisitions, international investment, banking, insurance, compliance with federal and state regulatory agencies, intellectual property, governmental relations, and related state and federal litigation.
Additionally, as a co-founder of the firm’s Immigration & Naturalization practice group, Douglas has been assisting businesses, investors, and individuals with work-related immigration matters since 1995. His immigration practice also focuses on diplomats and foreign governmental officials, business formation including new commercial enterprises, labor certificates, and drafting detailed business plans in strategic collaboration with his clients.
Douglas’ White Collar Criminal Defense and International experience includes defending domestic and international entities and financial institutions under Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and Security and Exchange Commission investigations; advising clients in implementing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and Patriot Act compliance programs; and conducting corporate internal investigations. Additionally, Douglas advises clients on import-export issues including export control laws and regulations, NAFTA-USMCA, and the European Union. He also counsels governments on diplomatic law pursuant to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and their application to diplomatic and consular missions, official staff, and local employees. Douglas also represents domestic and international air carriers in aviation matters related to the multinational treaties of the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions.
His Business Transaction work includes structuring complex multiparty international corporate and joint venture business entities, general corporate law, and choice of entity and jurisdiction selection. Douglas also advises e-commerce and start-up entities in structuring stock option plans in conjunction with angel, seed, series A and B funding with private investors, venture capitalists, and equity funds. In addition, his practice includes trademarks and copyrights, and appellate matters.
Before joining GRSM, Douglas served as President of World’s Law, LLP in Paris, France from 2013 to 2017, and at its Washington D.C. office from 2006 to 2012; and, from 1994 to 1998, Douglas served as Director of the Latin America Department for Frank, Greenberg & Simone at its Los Angeles office.
In 2000, California Governor Gray Davis appointed Douglas as the Managing Director of the Americas, for the California Office of Trade and Investment in Mexico City. As Managing Director of the Americas, he managed the California Offices in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina while promoting and protecting the interests of California throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Academically, Douglas has served as a professor at Georgetown University, teaching Introduction to International Business from 2009 to 2012; and taught at UCLA from 1995 to 2002 the classes of Doing Business in Mexico, Introduction to International Business, International Business Management, and Doing Business in Latin America. In addition, Douglas served on the Board of Directors for the University of California, California House Mexico City from 2002 to 2005 which established and oversaw the University of California campus in Mexico. Currently, Douglas serves on the International Board of Advisors for the McGeorge School of Law.
Douglas is married to Ambassador Liliana Ferrer, a career Mexican diplomat, currently serving as the Mexican Consul General in Sacramento, California. The Smurr Ferrers have two children, María Cecilia who was born in Guatemala City in 2000 and Alexander Douglas who was born in Mexico City in 2002. Douglas is an avid snow skier, mountain climber, backpacker, cyclist, water skier, whitewater kayaker, triathlete, and amateur astronomer – a hobby through which he met his wife in 1980.
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Southern, Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- Member, International Board of Advisors, McGeorge School of Law
- Member, International Law Sections for California and District of Columbia Bars