Born, bred and educated in Manchester, Gerald qualified as a solicitor in 1976 having decided that life as an Automobile Association repairman was not really for him. 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 recognised in the Legal 500, and by Chambers and Partners as amongst the Best of the UK (Band 1) within the category of Parliamentary & Public Affairs: Electoral Law.
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.
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.
Crucially, from a United point of view he has been a fan since he was 8 - how time flies! And if he hadn't become a lawyer he says he wouldn't have minded playing up front for United. His most used article of clothing is his United scarf.
Gerald was elected to serve as Chair of M.U.S.T. at the AGM in July 2012.