Professional practice

Professor Chester Brown is Professor of International Law and International Arbitration at the University of Sydney Law School, Australia, and he is also a Barrister at 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, Sydney. He practices, teaches and researches in the fields of public international law, international arbitration, international investment law, international trade law, and general commercial matters.

Professor Brown is currently acting as counsel in a number of investment treaty claims, in which he represents claimants as well as respondent States. He has also served as counsel in inter-State arbitrations, as well as in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, and a Conciliation Commission constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He has also been appointed presiding arbitrator in an international commercial arbitration.

Before his arrival at the University of Sydney in 2009, Professor Brown served as Assistant Legal Adviser at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2007–2009), and prior to this, he was a Senior Associate in the International Law and International Arbitration Group of Clifford Chance LLP, London (2004–2007). He was a Visiting Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in 2006, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School in 2011, and a Herbert Smith Freehills Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge in 2013. He has been a Research Associate at the National University of Singapore, and from 2011-2015, he co-taught International Arbitration on the LLM programme at the University of Auckland. He is serving as a Visiting Professor at the Ecole de Droit, Sciences Po, Paris, from November – December 2019.

Professor Brown is the author of A Common Law of International Adjudication (OUP, 2007), a major study dealing with the applicable procedure and remedies before international courts and tribunals, which was awarded the American Society of International Law’s Certificate of Merit, and which has been translated into Chinese (Xiuli Han trans, 2015). He is the co-editor of Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (CUP, 2011), which was awarded the OGEMID Award for ‘Book of the Year 2011’; co-author of The International Arbitration Act 1974: A Commentary (Lexis-Nexis Australia, 3rd edition, 2018); editor of Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties (OUP, 2013); and author or co-author of more than 60 journal articles, book chapters, and notes. He serves as Associate Editor (Notes) of the ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal, and is the Australia and New Zealand reporter for the International Law Reports.

Professor Brown is a member of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, a Panel Member of the Asian International Arbitration Centre, a Panel Member of the BVI International Arbitration Centre, a Member of the List of Arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and a Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. He is also a member of the American Society of International Law, the European Society of International Law, the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, the International Law Association, and the Oxford-Australia Scholarships Committee.

Professor Brown was educated at the Universities of Melbourne, Oxford, and Cambridge. He speaks English, German, and French.

 

Examples of Recent Cases
  • Counsel for the Applicants in Eiser Infrastructure Services Ltd, Energia Solar Luxembourg SARL and Anor v Kingdom of Spain (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 601/2019); and Infrastructure Services Luxembourg SARL and Energia Termosolar BV v Kingdom of Spain (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 602/2019) (with Justin Hogan-Doran)
  • Adviser to the Applicant in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Volkswagen AG and Anor (Federal Court of Australia, NSD1462/2016); Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Audi AG and Ors (Federal Court of Australia, NSD322/2017)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Power Rental Asset Co Two, LLC, Power Rental Op Co Australia, LLC, and APR Energy Holdings Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia (UNCITRAL) (with Stephen Donaghue QC and Anthea Roberts)
  • Adviser to the Respondent in Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd v Republic of Indonesia (PCA Case 2015-40) (instructed by Simmons & Simmons LLP)
  • Expert witness for the Plaintiffs in Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd and Kingsgate Capital Pty Ltd v Zurich Australian Insurance Ltd and Ors (Supreme Court of New South Wales, Case No 2017/00316691) (claim under Political Risk Insurance Policy for alleged breach of Thailand – Australia Free Trade Agreement) (instructed by Clifford Chance LLP)
  • Counsel for the Claimant in a potential BIT claim (details confidential)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Vedanta Resources plc v Republic of India (PCA Case No 2016-05) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC, Jessica Wells, and Benedict Tompkins)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Cairn Energy plc and Cairn UK Holdings Ltd v Republic of India (PCA Case 2016-07) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC and Jessica Wells)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Astro All Asia Networks Ltd v Republic of India (PCA Case 2016-24) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd v Republic of India (India – Mauritius BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC and Emily Wood)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Conciliation Proceedings under Article 298 and Annex V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2016-10) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, and Bill Campbell QC)
  • Advised the Government of Israel on matters of public international law (with Gavan Griffith QC)
  • Expert witness on issues of private international law in an international commercial arbitration in Canada (instructed by Corrs Chambers Westgarth)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty (II) (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2015-42) (with Justin Gleeson SC and Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2013-16) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, and Henry Burmester QC)
  • Presiding arbitrator, arbitration under Singapore International Arbitration Centre Rules of Arbitration 2013 (details confidential)
  • Counsel for the Claimants in Lighthouse Corporation Pty Ltd and Lighthouse Corporation Ltd IBC v Timor-Leste (ICSID Case No ARB/15/02) (with Gavan Griffith QC)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Philip Morris Asia Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia (PCA Case 2012-12, Australia – Hong Kong BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Tony Payne SC, Sam Wordsworth QC, and James Hutton)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Neville James Gibson v Official Assignee of New Zealand & Ors (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 186 of 2015) (with Justin Hogan-Doran)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Questions Relating to the Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data (Timor-Leste v Australia) (International Court of Justice) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Professor James Crawford SC, Bill Campbell QC, and Henry Burmester QC)
  • Counsel for the Claimant in Iran v United States (Case No A/15 (II:A), Iran – United States Claims Tribunal) (with Sam Wordsworth QC and David Davies)
  • Advised a North American company in potential proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment (with Andrew Bell SC)
  • Expert witness in Chinese court proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award (instructed by King & Wood Mallesons)
  • Secretary to the President of the Tribunal in St Marys VCNA LLC v Government of Canada (NAFTA, UNCITRAL)
  • Legal Assistant to the Tribunal in Bosh International, Inc and B&P Ltd Foreign Investments Enterprise v Ukraine (ICSID Case No ARB/08/11)
  • Counsel for the Government of India in White Industries Australia Ltd v Republic of India (Australia – India BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Toby Landau QC and Salim Moollan)
  • Advised the Government of Sri Lanka on issues of public international law (with Gavan Griffith QC)
  • Legal Assistant to the Annulment Committee in RSM Production Corporation v Grenada (ICSID Case No ARB/05/14)
  • Deputy Agent of the United Kingdom in Ashok Sancheti v United Kingdom (United Kingdom – India BIT, UNCITRAL)*
  • Acted for the Claimant in Oxus Gold plc v Kyrgyz Republic (United Kingdom – Kyrgyzstan BIT, UNCITRAL)*
  • Acted for the Claimant in Electrabel SA v Republic of Hungary (ICSID Case No ARB/07/19, Energy Charter Treaty and Belgium/Luxembourg – Hungary BIT)*
  • Acted for the Government of Hungary in ADC Affiliate Ltd and ADC & ADMC Management Ltd v Republic of Hungary (ICSID Case No ARB/03/16, Cyprus – Hungary BIT)*

* indicates cases in which Professor Brown acted as a solicitor

What Others Say
  • Best Lawyers, ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for International Arbitration, Sydney, Australia (2020)
Arbitration & related court applications
  • Eiser Infrastructure Services Ltd, Energia Solar Luxembourg SARL and Anor v Kingdom of Spain (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 601/2019); and Infrastructure Services Luxembourg SARL and Energia Termosolar BV v Kingdom of Spain (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 602/2019) (recognition and enforcement of arbitral award)
  • Presiding arbitrator, arbitration under Singapore International Arbitration Centre Rules of Arbitration 2013 (details confidential)
  • Expert witness in Chinese court proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award (instructed by King & Wood Mallesons)
  • Secretary to the President of the Tribunal in St Marys VCNA LLC v Government of Canada (NAFTA, UNCITRAL)
  • Legal Assistant to the Tribunal in Bosh International, Inc and B&P Ltd Foreign Investments Enterprise v Ukraine (ICSID Case No ARB/08/11)
Conflict of laws & private international law
  • Expert witness on issues of private international law in an international commercial arbitration in Canada (instructed by Corrs Chambers Westgarth)
Public international law
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Power Rental Asset Co Two, LLC, Power Rental Op Co Australia, LLC, and APR Energy Holdings Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia (UNCITRAL) (with Stephen Donaghue QC and Anthea Roberts) (alleged breach of AUSFTA)
  • Adviser to the Respondent in Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd v Republic of Indonesia (PCA Case 2015-40) (instructed by Simmons & Simmons LLP) (alleged breach of fair and equitable treatment concerning mining licences)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Vedanta Resources plc v Republic of India (PCA Case No 2016-05) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC, Jessica Wells, and Benedict Tompkins) (alleged breach of fair and equitable treatment regarding taxation measures)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Cairn Energy plc and Cairn UK Holdings Ltd v Republic of India (PCA Case 2016-07) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC and Jessica Wells) (alleged expropriation and breach of fair and equitable treatment regarding taxation measures)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Astro All Asia Networks Ltd v Republic of India (PCA Case 2016-24) (India – United Kingdom BIT, UNCITRAL) and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd v Republic of India (India – Mauritius BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Salim Moollan QC and Emily Wood) (alleged breach of fair and equitable treatment regarding criminal proceedings)
  • Advised the Government of Israel on matters of public international law (with Gavan Griffith QC)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Conciliation Proceedings under Article 298 and Annex V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2016-10) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, and Bill Campbell QC)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty (II) (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2015-42) (with Justin Gleeson SC and Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC) (alleged breach of Timor Sea Treaty)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty (Timor-Leste v Australia) (PCA Case 2013-16) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, and Henry Burmester QC) (alleged invalidity of treaty)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Questions Relating to the Seizure and Detention of Certain Documents and Data (Timor-Leste v Australia) (International Court of Justice) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Professor James Crawford SC, Bill Campbell QC, and Henry Burmester QC) (alleged breach of immunity of State property)
  • Counsel for the Claimant in Iran v United States (Case No A/15 (II:A), Iran – United States Claims Tribunal) (with Sam Wordsworth QC and David Davies) (alleged breach of the Algiers Accords)
  • Counsel for the Claimants in Lighthouse Corporation Pty Ltd and Lighthouse Corporation Ltd IBC v Timor-Leste (ICSID Case No ARB/15/02) (with Gavan Griffith QC) (alleged breach of contract and Foreign Investment Law)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Philip Morris Asia Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia (PCA Case 2012-12, Australia – Hong Kong BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Justin Gleeson SC, Tony Payne SC, Sam Wordsworth QC, and James Hutton) (alleged expropriation and breach of fair and equitable treatment)
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Neville James Gibson v Official Assignee of New Zealand & Ors (Federal Court of Australia, NSD 186 of 2015) (with Justin Hogan-Doran) (State immunity)
  • Counsel for the Government of India in White Industries Australia Ltd v Republic of India (Australia – India BIT, UNCITRAL) (with Toby Landau QC and Salim Moollan)
  • Advised the Government of Sri Lanka on issues of public international law (with Gavan Griffith QC) (State immunity)
  • Deputy Agent of the Respondent in Ashok Sancheti v United Kingdom (United Kingdom – India BIT, UNCITRAL)*
  • Acted for the Claimant in Oxus Gold plc v Kyrgyz Republic (United Kingdom – Kyrgyzstan BIT, UNCITRAL)*
  • Acted for the Claimant in Electrabel SA v Republic of Hungary (ICSID Case No ARB/07/19, Energy Charter Treaty and Belgium/Luxembourg – Hungary BIT)*
  • Acted for the Government of Hungary in ADC Affiliate Ltd and ADC & ADMC Management Ltd v Republic of Hungary (ICSID Case No ARB/03/16, Cyprus – Hungary BIT)** indicates cases in which Professor Brown acted as a solicitor
Shipping & admiralty
  • Counsel for the Respondent in Mitsui Osk Lines Ltd v Mort & Co Ltd (Federal Circuit Court, P(SYG) 1427/2014)
Education
  • 2008: Certificate in Law, War and Human Rights, London School of Economics
  • 2001 – 2004: PhD, St John’s College, University of Cambridge
  • 2000 – 2001: BCL (Distinction), Magdalen College, University of Oxford
  • 1992 – 1998: BA (German and French) (1st Class Hons), University of Melbourne
  • 1992 – 1997: LLB (1st Class Hons), University of Melbourne
Career
  • 2019 (Nov-Dec): Visiting Professor, Ecole de Droit, Sciences Po, Paris
  • 2017–2019: Co-Director, Sydney Centre for International Law
  • 2013–present: Professor of International Law and International Arbitration, University of Sydney Law School
  • 2013 (July): Herbert Smith Freehills Visiting Professor, University of Cambridge
  • 2011 (January–February): Visiting Scholar, Harvard Law School
  • 2011–present: Barrister, 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, Sydney
  • 2009–2012: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney
  • 2007–2009: Assistant Legal Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London
  • 2006 (July–August): Visiting Fellow, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London
  • 2005–2006: Lecturer in Public International Law (part-time), Faculty of Law, Queen Mary College, University of London
  • 2004–2007: Associate, and subsequently Senior Associate, International Law and International Arbitration Group, Clifford Chance LLP, London
  • 2003–2004: College Supervisor in Public International Law, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and Wolfson College, Cambridge
  • 2002–2003: Guest Lecturer in Public International Law (undergraduate) and Settlement of International Disputes (LLM), University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law
  • 1999–2000: Articled Clerk and Solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Melbourne
Awards
  • Best Lawyers, ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for International Arbitration, Sydney (2020)
  • OGEMID ‘Book of the Year Award 2011’ for Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (CUP, 2011)
  • American Society of International Law Certificate of Merit for A Common Law of International Adjudication (OUP, 2007)
  • Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Bursary (2003)
  • McMahon Studentship in Law, St John’s College, Cambridge (2003)
  • Lauterpacht Fund Stipend, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge (2003)
  • Overseas Research Student (Humanities and Social Sciences) Research Award, University of Cambridge (2003)
  • Chevening Oxford-Australia Scholarship (2000)
  • Freshfields Scholarship, Oxford University (2000)
  • Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law (2000)
Publications
  • The Asian Turn in Foreign Investment (CUP, forthcoming 2019) (co-editor with Mahdev Mohan)
  • The International Arbitration Act 1974: A Commentary (LexisNexis Australia, 3rd ed, 2018 (2nd ed, 2015; 1st ed, 2011)) (co-author with Malcolm Holmes QC)
  • Commentaries on Selected Model Investment Treaties (OUP, 2013) (editor)
  • Evolution in Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (CUP, 2011) (co-editor with Dr Kate Miles)
  • A Common Law of International Adjudication (OUP, 2007) (also in paperback 2009) (translated into Chinese, Xiuli Han trans, Law Press China, 2015)
  • Author or co-author of more than 60 journal articles, book chapters, and notes