Gerald qualified as a solicitor in 1976 and founded Steel & Shamash Solicitors in 1981. He has acted as the 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 include:
•Election Law (both local and national and incorporating European, Scottish and Welsh elections)
•Parliamentary boundary enquiries
•Judicial Review (Public Law)
•Local Government law
•Parliamentary Rules relating to the conduct of Members of Parliament and Ministers
•Media Law including defamation and privacy (including phone hacking)
He is recognised in Chambers and Partners within the category of Parliamentary and Public Affairs and in The Legal 500 within Electoral Law:
‘Gerald Shamash leads the firm's electoral and parliamentary team and is known for his work advising and representing the Labour Party and politicians at both national and local level. Sources say 'He is very strong on the practicalities and sees the wider picture’ (Chambers and Partners)
‘Legend – (Gerald) is an incredibly impressive individual and attracts really high quality work’ (Chambers and Partners)
‘Leader in the field Gerald Shamash advises Labour on a range of issues’ (The Legal 500)
As The Labour Party's election lawyer Gerald acts for both the National Executive Committee and the National Constitutional Committee on disciplinary matters and giving general advice. He advises both national and local politicians on standards in Parliament and local government, including the register of members' interests and before the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. He has represented The Labour Party on Parliamentary and local government boundary reviews and at ministerial meetings and conferences.
He has advised on party finance and has considerable expertise in dealing with the legislative obligations under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
His position as solicitor to The Labour Party and membership of the Society of Labour Lawyers has closely involved Gerald with legislative reform of Electoral Law. In this capacity he has met regularly with Ministers and Shadow Ministers and has contributed to a number of consultations, including the review of Electoral Law by the Law Commission and the Electoral Commission.
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, R v Fiona Jones (1999), Ahmed v Kennedy (2003), Knight v Nicholls (2004) and the Slough Election Petition. He also represented Phil Woolas who was lost his Oldham and Saddleworth parliamentary seat following an appeal by the Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins. He has represented many individual politicians in bringing and defending election petitions as well as advising on possible criminal allegations for breaches of election law.
Gerald advised and represented members and officers of The Labour Party throughout the police investigation into "cash for honours" and election funding and throughout the police enquiry into the Parliamentary expenses scandal.
Gerald is currently representing the National Executive of the Labour Party and the Labour Party in the House of Commons and House of Lords at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.
Gerald is heavily involved in a number of media law cases before the High Court alleging breach of privacy (phone hacking). He has acted for Alastair Campbell, Paul Gascoigne, Ted Beckham, Neil & Christine Hamilton and David Mills as well as Lord Jeffrey and Dame Mary Archer.
Gerald has successfully represented Alan Yentob and Paul Gascoigne in claims of Phone Hacking against the Mirror Group Newspapers securing over £250,000 in damages.
He has recently represented in defamation and media cases Rt. Hon John Healey MP, Sarah Champion MP and Sir Kevin Barron MP in their successful defamation case against UKIP MEP Jane Collins.
Gerald has acted for a number of Labour Party members in relation to defamation media and privacy claims.
•Trustee of the Hansard Society
•Vice–chair of the Society of Labour Lawyers
•Executive member of HS Chapman Society
•Visiting Professor of Public and Constitutional Law at the University of Derby 2012 - 2015
•Chairman of the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) 2012- present