Richard G. Dearden
Rick Dearden, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is a senior litigation partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office, practising primarily in the areas of defamation and media law, freedom of information, administrative law, and international trade and customs law. In 2022, Rick received The Advocates' Society's John P. Nelligan Award for Excellence in Advocacy.
Rick's accomplishments have been recognized by Chambers Global, Lexpert's Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation – Defamation; International Trade Litigation), Lexpert Guide To The Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers, Best Lawyers in Canada (International Trade; Defamation and Media Law), Benchmark Canada's Guide To Canada's Leading Litigation Attorneys, Legal Post's Top 100 Canada-U.S. Litigators, the Canadian Who's Who, the International Who's Who of Trade and Customs Lawyers, and Who's Who Legal-Canada.
Rick has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Courts, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, Chapter 19 Free Trade Agreement binational panels, and served as Chair of a softwood lumber panel. Rick acted as co-counsel for Eli Lilly and Company in a NAFTA investor-state arbitration against the Government of Canada.
During the NAFTA negotiations and implementation, Rick acted for the Government of Mexico as one of its external counsel. He also acted for the U.S. Department of Commerce during the negotiation of Chapter 19 of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and for the USTR during the implementation of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. Rick also served as Vice-Chair of the International Bar Association's Trade Law SubCommittee and as a member of the American Bar Association's Council for the Section on International Law and Practice.
In his media and defamation law practice, Rick has acted as counsel in leading defamation trials and appeals, freedom of press cases under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and freedom of information cases. Rick acted as counsel for the Ottawa Citizen before the Supreme Court of Canada in the seminal cases of Cusson v Quan and Grant v Torstar that created the new "public interest responsible communication defence to libel actions in Canada. He also taught the Media and Defamation Law Course at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Common Law.
Rick served as Chair of the IBA's Media Law Committee and as a member of the IBA's Council for the General Practice Section. He is also a recipient of the President's Award from the Centre For Investigative Journalism for furthering the cause of investigative journalism in Canada.
Rick served on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Citizen Literacy Foundation and The Hnatyshyn Foundation, and as the auditor of the Ottawa Citizen's Cappies awards.
He is an avid marathoner and tennis player.