Stuart Lawley

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Organization: ICM Registry
Region: Europe
Country: United Kingdom


Facebook: Facebook.png   Stuart Lawley
LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Stuart Lawley
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png   @sjlawley
Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 42 - Senegal playing card deck

Stuart Lawley is the Chairman and President of ICM Registry, Chairman at Stimulus Medical and a Director at The Rabbit Hole Ltd.[1] The London Sunday Times named him one of the 1,000 richest people in Britain. He currently lives in Florida, USA.[2]

Mr. Lawley attends ICANN meetings and other industry conferences.


Stuart Lawley is an experienced leader, who has acted as Chairman or CEO in a number of UK and US businesses, largely within the Internet and technology sectors. He has acted as CEO of Eurofax Ltd., Alto Group Ltd., and has been the Chairman at He guided through a public offering within the London Stock Exchange,[3] and saw the number of employees double. It was sold in March 2000 for $200 million. Eurofax grew at a compound rate of over 40% over 12 years. Alto Group doubled in size and share values increased by 450% during his 15-month tenure.[4]

After Mr. Lawley successfully sold, he gave himself a brief retirement in the Bahamas, where he worked on his golf game and learned to spearfish.[5]

He is involved as an investor or leader in a variety of side projects as well, this includes work with a home automation company, a health records company, and a multimedia online game company.[6]


Mr. Lawley has been with ICM Registry since 2003, and thus very much a part of the long process involved in approving the .xxx TLD; it was declined for approval in 2000, 2004, and 2007, and subsequently approved in March, 2011 at the ICANN Silicon Valley meeting.[7] It was first declined in 2000, years before Stuart became its CEO.[8] Stuart Lawley initially became interested in ICM when reviewing the applications for inaugural TLD introduction in 2000; he thought their proposal had real merit so he invested enough in ICM to take control of the company.[9] Prior to launch, Stuart claimed that ICM could be bringing in around $200 million a year though .xxx; they also have plans to create a PayPal type service throughout the namespace.[10] Stuart maintains that he has "no current or historic links to the adult industry in any form".[11]

Sponsoring Community Controversy

ICM faced a constant battle not only with ICANN and GAC, but also with the community that it claimed to represent. Stuart Lawley registered as a user of, a members-only forum for those involved in the adult industry, to directly answer questions and negative comments he was receiving on the forum. He immediately received a number of questions, and eventually responded to many of them in full. He defended .xxx as a new income opportunity and not a burden; he defended the higher price of registration compared to a .com registration as necessary given their resources compared to Verisign's; he promised to advertise and promote the namespace to further increase its value; he claimed to have support from the industry and promised to turn the .xxx space into a premium, secure real estate.[12] The conversation was extremely variable in terms of tone and information. Later, a number of prominent adult industry veterans made a movie detailing ICM's business plan and deriding Mr. Lawley and his company.[13] The full thread from can be read here.


In November 2011, Mr. Lawley stepped down as Chairman of the International Foundation For Online Responsibility, or IFFOR. The organization was the sponsoring organization required by ICANN of the registries applying for sponsored top-level domains in 2004. The organization was supposed to be independent, and many saw an inherent conflict of interest that Stuart Lawley was the leader of both the registry and the sponsoring organization. ICM Registry will still hold a seat on the IFFOR, but the chairmanship has been passed onto Clyde Beattie, former Chair of the Canadian ccTLD manager, CIRA.[14]


He has a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of London, 1982 — 1985.[15]


Raymond King interviews Lawley about ICM Registry, .xxx, and the company's new gTLD applications at ICANN 45 in Toronto, Canada.