Justice Russell Brown was born in Vancouver on September 15, 1965, and raised in Burns Lake, British Columbia. He holds degrees from the University of British Columbia (BA), the University of Victoria (LLB) and the University of Toronto (LLM, SJD). He was admitted to the Bars of British Columbia (1995) and Alberta (2008), and practiced at Davis & Company (now DLA Piper LLP) in Vancouver from 1995 to 1996 and at Carfra & Lawton (now Carfra Lawton LLP) in Victoria from 1996 to 2004. From 2008 to 2013, he was associate counsel to Miller Thomson LLP. From 2004 to 2013, Justice Brown was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta, variously as professor and associate dean. His main areas of practice were commercial law, medical negligence, public authority liability, insurance law and trusts and estates.

Justice Brown is the author of a treatise on claims under negligence law for economic loss, a contributing author to a textbook on public authority liability, as well as the author or co-author of over 40 published law review articles, book chapters, review essays and forward essays on tort law, property law and civil justice. He is a regular contributor to academic and professional conference proceedings in Canada and internationally, and in Canadian judicial education seminars. Justice Brown presently serves on the editorial board of the University of Toronto Law Journal and the advisory board of the Legal Writing Academy at the University of Ottawa.  Prior to his judicial career, he served on various committees of the Law Society of Alberta, including those on credentials and education, and civil practice, and was a member of the governing board of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. He also served as chair of the Health Law Institute of the University of Alberta, chair of the University Appeals Board and chair of the Professional Review Board at the University of Alberta.

He was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta on February 7, 2013, and to the Court of Appeal of Alberta on March 7, 2014. Justice Brown also served as a Judge of the Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories and a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Nunavut. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on August 31, 2015.