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. 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.