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Ciaran Dearden

Ciaran Dearden

Managing Associate

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"Ciaran Dearden is one to watch as he is smart, diligent and dedicated to the client's interests."
(The Legal 500, 2020)

Ciaran Dearden specialises in commercial dispute resolution and has a breadth of experience including in complex contractual disputes of a technical nature, shareholder and director disputes, professional negligence and in matters of reputation management including the bringing and defending of claims in defamation.

Ciaran is recognised as a leading junior lawyer, having been shortlisted by The Law Society as Junior Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and Highly Commended as a Rising Star in the Modern Law Awards in 2018.

Legal Services

Dispute Management

Ciaran has expertise in a varied portfolio of commercial disputes including contractual disputes, breach of warranty claims, shareholder and director disputes, partnership disputes and in matters of fraud and professional liability. His experience includes litigation in the County Court and High Court as well as using various means of Alternative Dispute Resolution including Mediation and Expert Determination.

Ciaran’s focus is on prioritising commercial outcomes for clients and managing and mitigating the business impact caused by disputes.

Recent Work

  • Acting as an assistant solicitor for an offshore investment fund in a dispute relating to the management of its UK-based student accommodation portfolio. This was initially over sums due under property management agreements, but later involved a number of other issues. Ultimately resolved favourably as part of the disposal of the portfolio to a sovereign wealth fund, for a sum in excess of £415 million.
  • Acting as an assistant solicitor for a director/shareholder of an IT company in a shareholder dispute and in defending an unfair prejudice claim. This involved successfully negotiating the opponent’s exit from the business and the buyback of the opponent’s shareholding at an undervalue.
  • Acting as an assistant solicitor for the shareholders of a global logistics company in a breach of warranty claim arising in connection with the £5 million sale of the company to an Australian-based world-leading logistics group.
  • Acting as an assistant solicitor for the shareholders of a world-leading sports equipment manufacturer. This involved a dispute relating to the completion accounts for the company’s £ million sale to a US-based competitor.
  • Acting as lead solicitor for a world-leading heavy engineering company in a dispute with its aerospace sector client. The dispute related to an allegedly defective product. He successfully defended a £2million claim and recovered all sums claimed.

Reputation Protection, Defamation & Privacy

Ciaran works with clients to safeguard their reputation and business interests from defamation, breach of privacy or other infringements. Ciaran’s experience includes bringing and defending claims in both slander and libel, acting in relation to infringements of copyright and misleading advertising and advising the subject of a worldwide journalistic investigation, as well as advising clients generally regarding how best to protect their personal and corporate reputation.

Recent Work

  • Acting for a high net worth individual and company director whose offshore tax arrangements had been exposed as part of the Paradise Papers leak. We successfully prevented disclosure of certain sensitive and unsubstantiated information on the BBC’s Panorama programme and in print media, by drafting and agreeing with the BBC a statement for publication.
  • Acting for a national manufacturer of street furniture threatened with injunctive proceedings relating to an alleged infringement of IP and false advertising over a marketing video published on YouTube. He successfully defended the claim and enabled the client to continue to market using the material that had been the subject of the claim.
  • Acting for a national gaming company against which defamatory statements had been made online, including on Facebook, successfully pressing for the removal of the posts.
  • Acting for a national car dealership which was featured on a review aggregator website with unverified and negative reviews. He procured the removal of all unverified reviews and forced the aggregation website to amend its policy for verifying reviewers.
  • Acting for a leading national employee services provider in relation to a former employee who had removed confidential information from our client upon the termination of her employment. We recovered or destroyed all of the confidential information removed by the former employee, secured appropriate undertakings regarding the former employee’s future conduct and had the former employee indemnify our client in respect of the costs of an exercise to destroy confidential information in her possession.


Ciaran regularly engages methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, including Mediation and Expert Determination, as a means of bringing about early and commercial settlements to disputes.

Recent Work

  • Representing a healthcare services provider at the Mediation of a partnership dispute valued at in excess of £500,000. We successfully opposed Counsel and a Senior Partner for the other party and achieved a highly favourable settlement by which our client was required to pay circa 10% of the sum claimed.
  • Representing an event facilities supplier in the Mediation of a defective product claim. We achieved a non-monetary settlement at the Mediation, which enabled our client to maintain a commercial relationship with the other party whilst still successfully defending the claim brought against it.


To contact Ciaran or for more information…

Call: 0114 263 9438
Mobile: 07972 753347
Or email: Send an email


  • Former President of Sheffield & District Junior Lawyers Division

“Associate Ciaran Dearden is one to watch as he is smart, diligent and dedicated to the client’s interests.”

(The Legal 500, 2020)

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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