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Update on the Nominet Board fight

Category : Internet governance · by Jan 26th, 2009

One day after the first announcement that angrily refused claims made in a resignation letter by former Nominet director Jim Davies, the .uk registry operator put out a second announcement covering in some detail why it believes Davies’ accusations are false and without merit.

The statement provides significant information about the executive compensation package that Davies had complained was providing the CEO with a large sum of money. It also deals with his accusation concerning the chairman’s role on the Renumeration Committee.

It strongly refutes the allegations laid against CEO Lesley Cowley saying they are “totally without merit and robustly denied” and it gives a pass on the allegations about why IT director Jay Daley has left the company, pointing out, not unreasonably, that since Mr Daley hadn’t discussed any of the issues that Nominet wasn’t going to comment.

It does leave the door open to commenting at a later date though – presumably in case Davies try to drip-feed gossip as a way of undermining the CEO and chairman.

My take on this is that I think this is a fair and honest statement and it reinforces my believe that both Bob Gilbert and Lesley Cowley are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

Related story

Nominet Board fight rolls on


(3) comments

Andrew Bennett
13 years ago ·


Please could you tell me if you have emailed Mr Jim Davies to hear his view on this?

Also why is Chris Williams from El Reg letting you get the ‘scoop’ on this story?

Andrew Bennett

13 years ago ·

Hi Andrew,

The Register is free to report on stories however it wishes. I would normally have approached the Reg with the story and offered to write it for them but I have a full-time job at the moment and just don’t have the time to do more than post to my blog.

Re: Jim Davies. I’ve not had any contact with him, although I have been looking around to see if he has been posting anywhere. I’ve not seen anything as yet.

With respect to this situation, I’m happy to explain why I think the Nominet management is more trustworthy in this case. What has struck me about Mr Davies’ statements is that his accusations have been vague, or irrelevant or carefully worded to give a particular impression. Their intent each time has been to undermine the CEO and the chairman rather than expose wrongdoing.

He has also publicly divulged what were clearly confidential discussions and I think that is only justifiable in a whistleblower situation – which I’m not convinced this is.

Nominet’s response on the other hand has been precise and its intent has been more to maintain confidence in Nominet that to defend its two lead people. Its statements also comes with the added weight that were details in them untrue, the company’s representatives would be punishable under the law.

Mr Davies’ made some sharp accusations on a private mailing list, most of which were then comprehensively refuted. If he wishes to expand on his accusations publicly and if he provides more precise details, then I would look into them. But I think that is unlikely to happen.


6 years ago ·

Indeed not. However Chapter I prohibits aetegmenrs that “have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the United Kingdom”. Query the status of the agreement that gives Nominet UK exclusive rights ti issue .uk domains.Further Chapter II prohibits “abuse of a dominant position in a market”. Query whether the way Nominet imposes terms such as the DRS on all prosepective registrants in a “take it or leave it way” – and also I believe provides cheaper prices for registration of domains to its own members – breaches this.I suggest that Nominet should either be an agency of government (along the lines of Companies House) – or it should be opened up to genuine competition. It should not be allowed to have it both ways.

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