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Parliamentary and Electoral Law

An exceptionally specialised area of law

Parliamentary and Electoral Law

Our Parliamentary and Electoral Law services

Gerald Shamash has been a member of the Labour Party since 1970, and has been Solicitor to the Labour Party for over 30 years. He has been closely involved with legislative reform of electoral law. In this capacity he has worked closely with government ministers, the Electoral Commission and the Law Commission, and has contributed to a number of consultations including the development of the Electoral Administration Act 2006. He is one of only a handful of practitioners nationwide to have been thanked by the Law Commission in the acknowledgments section of its recent report into the reform of electoral law for his contribution to the Commission’s research in this area.

We are ranked in the top tier for Electoral Law within Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 legal directories.

This is an exceptionally specialised area of law, and we have a fine reputation in all aspects of the following:

  • 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

Our relationship with the Labour Party

Our parliamentary and electoral law team has a longstanding and deep client relationship with the Labour Party, providing regular and ongoing support to its internal legal and compliance functions. Electoral expertise is complemented by a solid public policy practice. It is closely involved in the legislative developments concerning electoral law reform.

Edwards Duthie Shamash advises the Labour Party and its key individuals on election matters, in addition to providing regular and more general legal support. The firm currently advises various clients on electoral expenses irregularities, the Levenson inquiry and the forthcoming elections for police commissioners.

About the team

All of Edwards Duthie Shamash’s Parliamentary and Election Law Team are knowledgeable about not just the laws relevant to election and parliamentary disputes, but about the political world itself and the nature of the work undertaken by clients in the political sphere. Team members draw not only on their legal experience but on their personal pastimes in government, politics and current affairs. They are able to offer political clients an unparalleled holistic service in which both legal and political aspects of disputes are considered simultaneously, without the client needing to school lawyers on political ramifications that might be lost on legal practitioners less familiar with the world of government and politics.

The Team has been relied upon by senior Labour Party figures heavily for decades, notably in the “Cash for Peerages” affair and in advising scores of MPs on their legal obligations following the scandal surrounding MPs’ expenses. More recently, the firm has expanded its offering with a thriving public inquiries practice including acting for the Labour Party as a core participant in relation to two strands of the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The practice is advisory, with a capacity for representing clients in contentious matters (Chambers and Partners 2014). The firm is truly expert in its areas of specialism and the Team has excellent relationships with its clients, with knowledge of their requirements and constraints (Chambers and Partners 2014).

Leaders in the field

Electoral law expertise within the practice is complemented by regular public law and information law activity, as well as engagement in the public policy sphere (Chambers and Partners 2013) Edwards Duthie Shamash’s ‘experienced’ team is a long-term adviser to the Labour Party. ‘Leader in the field’ Gerald Shamash advises Labour on a range of issues including disciplinary and contentious matters, and boundary reviews.

Edwards Duthie Shamash has ‘considerable skill and expertise’ and is firm of choice for the Labour Party… (The Legal 500 2013 London: Public Sector: Electoral) ‘Excellent on all counts’, Edwards Duthie Shamash handles a range of work for the Labour Party and its members… (The Legal 500 2013 Public Affairs)

Elected officials, candidates in elections, returning officers and businesses and government officials requiring advice on parliamentary and electoral law should get in touch with our team of specialists with decades of experiencing this very niche field. Call 020 7803 3999 and ask for Gerald Shamash, Kevin Bonavia or Axel Landin.

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