Judge Brower's 50-year career in the law has combined extensive practice at the bar with distinguished public service, both national and international, concentrating during 30 years in the fields of public international law and international dispute resolution.
Following eight years with the international law firm White & Case LLP in New York City (1961-69), acting both as a commercial trial and appellate attorney and as criminal defense counsel in prominent cases, Judge Brower resigned his partnership to serve for four years (1969-73) in the United States Department of State in Washington, DC, where as Acting Legal Adviser he was the chief lawyer of the Department and principal international lawyer for the United States Government. Thereafter, he rejoined White & Case LLP, co-founding its Washington, DC office, where his practice, originally concentrated in the litigation of administrative and public law cases, came to be comprised almost exclusively of substantial international arbitrations.
He has served continuously since 1983 as a Judge of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he sat full-time from 1984 to 1988. That service was interrupted for some months in 1987 by White House service as Deputy Special Counsellor to President Reagan. While continuing to serve in The Hague on a part-time basis, Judge Brower resumed partnership in White & Case LLP from 1988 until joining 20 Essex Street Chambers. As of 2014 he also serves as a Judge ad hoc at the International Court of Justice.
Judge Brower has served as Judge Ad Hoc of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as a member of the Register of Experts of the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva (UNCC), and as a member of the Panels of Conciliators and Arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (a member of the World Bank Group). He has represented various governments in proceedings before the International Court of Justice (World Court) and is a member of the panels of arbitrators of a number of arbitral institutions around the world. As counsel or arbitrator he has handled cases on all six continents, principally under the rules of the ICC, UNCITRAL, the LCIA, the AAA, the UNCC, ICSID, SCC, ARIAS and LMAA. These cases have involved a wide variety of commercial disputes as well as issues of public international law, particularly involving the oil and gas sector, major infrastructural projects, expropriations, and other investment disputes, including ones arising under both bilateral and multilateral investment treaties (such as NAFTA and the Energy Charter Treaty).
Most recently Judge Brower's peer listings have been capped by The American Lawyer's 2013 "Focus Europe" Supplement, which described him as "the reigning king of international arbitrators," listing him for its third consecutive biennial survey (following 2011 and 2009) as No. 1 of its "Top Ten Arbitrators" with 27 qualifying arbitrations (commercial cases involving $500 million or more and treaty-based investment disputes in which a minimum of $100 million is in issue). Judge Brower is one of only three arbitrators to have been included among the "Top Ten Arbitrators" in every one of these biennial surveys since they were first published in 2005. In addition, Chambers 2011 UK Directory stated that Judge Brower "has earned a reputation as one of the leading arbitrators at the UK Bar. He is described as 'one of the most sought out arbitrators in the world, particularly in connection with investment treaty disputes.' In 2014, Judge Brower became the first inductee into the Legal Media Group Euromoney 'Hall of Fame' for 'significant contributions to commercial arbitration during his career,' and Lawyer Monthly declared him to be 'United Kingdom Commercial Arbitration Lawyer of the Year.'
Judge Brower has served as President of the American Society of International Law, Governor of the American Bar Association, Chair of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, and on the Executive Council of the International Law Association. He has published and spoken around the world on international law and international dispute resolution. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University (Jesus College and the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law) and had been selected as John A. Ewald, Jr. Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2009 Judge Brower was awarded the American Society of International Law's prestigious Manley O. Hudson Medal for "pre-eminent scholarship and achievement in international law . . . without regard to nationality," which honor until then had been bestowed on 29 persons, including 10 non-American citizens, during the 53 years since it had been created. In 2010 Judge Brower received the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Award from the University of California's Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in recognition of "his outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of international law."
In 2013 he received both the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law and the Pat Murphy Award of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law "For Exceptional Civic Contributions and Extraordinary Professional Achievements in International Arbitration."