Richard G. Dearden Partner


Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 1979 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 613-786-0135

Fax: +1 613-788-3430

Email: richard.dearden@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Ottawa



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 international trade, investor-state arbitration, media and defamation law, freedom of information, and administrative law.

Rick’s accomplishments have also been recognized in the Best Lawyers in Canada (International Trade; Defamation and Media Law), Lexpert Guide To The Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Litigation Lawyers, Benchmark Canada’s Guide To Canada’s Leading Litigation Attorneys, Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Litigation – Defamation; International Trade Litigation), Legal Post’s Top 100 Canada-U.S. Litigators, the Canadian Who’s Who, Lexpert's Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, the International Who’s Who of Trade and Customs Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal-Canada, and the Chambers Global Client’s Guide To The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (International Trade/WTO).

Rick has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Courts of Canada, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and binational panels established under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He is a former Chapter 19 panelist and served as chair of one of the Softwood Lumber III panels. In addition, he provides counsel and strategic advice regarding NAFTA and World Trade Organization issues, particularly intellectual property rights. Relatively, Rick acted as co-counsel for Eli Lilly and Company in a NAFTA investment 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 (IBA)'s Trade Law SubCommittee, as a member of the American Bar Association’s Council for the Section on International Law and Practice, and is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

In his media and defamation law practice, Rick has acted as counsel in leading defamation trials and appeals, Canadian Charter of Rights freedom of the press cases 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 Libel Law Course at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of 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 investigate 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. 

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

  • 2015

    • Rankings & Awards
      December2015
      Who's Who Legal: Canada 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      November2015
      Chambers Canada 2016
    • Rankings & Awards
      September2015
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016
    • Rankings & Awards
      September2015
      The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      July2015
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      April2015
      Chambers Global 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      April2015
      Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      February2015
      Who's Who Legal: Trade & Customs 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      2015
      Who's Who Legal: Trade & Customs 2015
  • 2014

    • Rankings & Awards
      December2014
      Lexpert recognizes Gowlings professionals as leading litigation lawyers
    • Rankings & Awards
      October2014
      Who's Who Legal: Canada 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      September2014
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2015
    • Rankings & Awards
      September2014
      Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      July2014
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      April2014
      Benchmark Canada: The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      April2014
      Chambers Global 2014
  • 2013

    • Rankings & Awards
      December2013
      Lexpert 2013 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
    • Rankings & Awards
      November2013
      Who's Who Legal: Canada 2013
    • Rankings & Awards
      September2013
      The Best Lawyers in Canada 2014
    • Rankings & Awards
      July2013
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2013
    • Rankings & Awards
      July2013
      Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers 2013
    • Rankings & Awards
      2013
      Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • 1979

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1979
      Year of Call, Ontario
    • Rankings & Awards
      Recipient of the Georgetown University Leadership Certificate of Merit, School of Foreign service
    • Rankings & Awards
      Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (International Trade Litigation)
    • Rankings & Awards
      Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
    • Rankings & Awards
      The Best Lawyers in Canada (International Trade; Defamation and Media Law)
    • Rankings & Awards
      The International Who's Who of Trade and Customs Lawyers

Rick has spoken frequently to national and international organizations. A prolific author, Rick’s publications include the Free Trade Law Reporter, the Canadian Trade Law Reporter, a chapter in Freedom of Expression and the Charter and papers published in the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Special Lectures. His articles have been published in Lexpert, the World Trade Law Journal, ImportWeek, the ABA’s International Law News, and the Canada-United States Law Journal.

Recent articles and presentations include:

  • Defamation in the Age of the Internet - County of Carleton Law Association Civil Litigation Conference, November 2012
  • "Injunctive Relief for Cyberlibel and Breach of Privacy in Canada", American Bar Association - Section on International Law, 2012 Spring Conference, New York
  • Paper, "Key Defences to Defamation", Osgoode Hall - Defamation Law in the Internet Age: Essentials for Litigators and Corporate Counsel Conference, September 2011 

Previous speaking engagements

Insights & Resources

  • Was a member of the legal team that represented the Government of Mexico during the negotiation and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Represented the United States Trade Representative during the negotiation of Chapter 19 of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the implementation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
  • Provides strategic advice about the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization’s Agreements, particularly the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Has represented the Ottawa Citizen for over 30 years in defamation and freedom of the press cases, and acted as counsel for the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper in libel cases.
  • Also acts for the Information Commissioner of Canada in access to information matters and acted for the Office of the Auditor General during the hearings of the Commission of Inquiry Into The Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities (the Gomery Inquiry) and during audits.