Douglas Smurr

Of Counsel

  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    Douglas Smurr is Of Counsel in the Cannabis, Hemp & CBD; Commercial Litigation; Business Transactions; Banking & Finance; International; White Collar Criminal Defense; and Government Regulatory & Administrative Law practice groups at Gordon & Rees.  For over 25 years, he has been a practicing international business attorney with a diverse litigation and transaction practice based in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.  Mr. Smurr 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, since 2008, Mr. Smurr has maintained an active cannabis and hemp practice 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 (FDA, FTC) and state regulatory agencies, intellectual property, governmental relations, and related state and federal litigation. 

    Mr. Smurr’s White Collar Criminal Defense, Banking & Finance, and International experience includes defending domestic and international entities under Department of Justice and Security and Exchange Commission investigations and advising clients in implementing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and Patriot Act compliance programs.  Additionally, Mr. Smurr advises clients on import-export issues including export control laws and regulations.  His Business Transaction work includes advising eCommerce 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, and structuring complex multiparty international corporate and joint venture business entities.  Mr. Smurr’s practice also includes NAFTA-USMCA, trademarks and copyrights, appellate matters, and diplomatic law. 

    Before joining Gordon & Rees, Mr. Smurr 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.  In 2000, California Governor Gray Davis appointed Mr. Smurr 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.  Additionally, Mr. Smurr served as Director of the Latin America Department for Frank, Greenberg & Simone at its Los Angeles office from 1994 to 1998.

    Academically, Mr. Smurr has served as a professor at Georgetown University teaching Introduction to International Business from 2009 to 2012 and at UCLA from 1995 to 2002 where he taught Doing Business in Mexico, Introduction to International Business, International Business Management, and Doing Business in Latin America.  From 2002 to 2005 he served on the Board of Directors, University of California, California House Mexico City that established and oversaw the University of California campus in Mexico City.  Currently, Mr. Smurr serves on the International Board of Advisors for the McGeorge School of Law.

    Mr. Smurr 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.  Mr. Smurr is an avid snow skier, mountain climber, backpacker, cyclist, whitewater kayaker, and triathlete.


    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

  • Practice Areas
  • Publications & Presentations



    • Doing Business in Mexico, Volumes 1 and 2, Academic Publishing Service, 1996

    Legal Publications:

    • Pacific Law Journal:
      • Legislation Editor, volume 18, 1987;
      • Legislative Review Staff Writer, volume 17, 1986


    • California Adrift Internationally: Resetting Course for the 21st Century; Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, Volume 3, 2010; on the web at:
    • Like A Good Neighbor, Mexico Is There, Alert Newsletter, California Chamber of Commerce, August 2002
    • Economic, Political Maturity Strengthens California’s Largest Export Market, Alert Newsletter, California Chamber of Commerce, July 2000
    • U.S. Law and Dual Citizenship – necessary precautions, Revue, November 1998
    • U.S. Law and Dual Citizenship – how not to lose your citizenship, Revue, October 1998
    • Classifying International Trade Treaties, Academic Publishing Service, 1997


    • Panelist: Medicinal Cannabis, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, Fall Fusion Presentation, September 17, 2019, San Diego, CA
    • Panelist: California as a Nation-State Innovative or Inevitable, Center for California Studies, August 14, 2019 (from 56:40 to 1:57:20)
    • Webinar Presentation: Cannabis in the Workplace, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations Human Resources Webinar Series, April 24, 2019
    • California Senate Testimony regarding SB 738 to re-establish a California Office in Mexico City, April 22, 2019 (from 55:10 to 1:07)
  • Education


    M.A., Global Master of Arts Program (“GMAP”), The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University 2005

    J.D., Emphasis in International Trade and Business Transactions, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, 1987

    B.A., International Relations, Concentration in Latin America Affairs, University of California, Davis, 1983


    California Assembly Resolution for immense personal distinction and public service in coordinating the strategies and projects of the Mexico City and Buenos Aires Offices of Trade and Investment.

    Recipient of the Yiacatecutli Award for distinguished service to the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico in international trade and finance.

    Intern, California Senate Select Committee on the Pacific Rim

    Legislation Editor, Pacific Law Journal

  • Languages
    • Spanish