Gerald qualified as a solicitor in 1976. Gerald founded Steel & Shamash solicitors in 1981, and has acted as solicitor to the Labour Party since 1990.
Gerald is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the country in his areas of expertise which are:
- Election law (both local and parliamentary, and incorporating European, Scottish and Welsh elections)
- Parliamentary boundary inquiries
- Judicial Review (Public Law)
- Local Government
- Standards Board and Adjudication Tribunals for councillors
- Parliamentary rules relating to the conduct of Members of Parliament.
He is the Labour Party’s election lawyer. He acts for both the National Executive Committee and National Constitutional committee on disciplinary matters, and in giving general advice. He advises both national and local politicians on Standards in Parliament and local government. He has represented the Labour Party on parliamentary and local government boundary reviews, and at ministerial meetings and conferences.
His position as solicitor to the Labour Party, and the Society of Labour Lawyers, has closely involved Gerald with legislative reform of electoral law. In this capacity he meets regularly with Ministers and has contributed to a number of consultations, most recently in the development of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
Gerald’s electoral law expertise has brought him into contact with many jurisdictions to lecture, train and advise including; Sweden, Malawi, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cuba and Russia.
Gerald has been involved in a number of the leading election law cases including: Ahmed v Kennedy (2003) and Knight v Nicholls (2004).
He has also advised and represented members and officers of the Labour Party throughout the recent police investigation into ‘Cash for Honours’ and election funding.