The News of the World is understood to be close to reaching a legal settlement with the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler amid reports that it will top £3m.
Such a payout would almost certainly be a UK legal record for a press breach of privacy settlement with an individual.
The Dowlers sued via phone-hacking lawyer Mark Lewis for breach of privacy after it emerged in July this year that an investigator working for the News of the World had hacked Milly’s mobile phone messages in the weeks after she disappeared in 2002.
According to The Guardian, the Dowlers have been offered a £1m donation to charity in addition to another £2m in costs and damages – but lawyers are said to be seeking more.
The record court-agreed payout in a UK breach of privacy case was the £60,000 awarded to Max Mosley in 2008 after he News of the World published revelations about his sex life.
In a statement, News International said: ‘News International confirms it is in advanced negotiations with the Dowler family regarding their compensation settlement. No final agreement has yet been reached, but we hope to conclude the discussions as quickly as possible.”