The British arm of News Corp has increased the legal fund it will use to settle civil litigation cases brought by victims of phone hacking to 100 million pounds from 20 million, the Independent newspaper reported on Thursday.

Rupert Murdoch's News International has earmarked the money to settle several high-profile cases, with some settlements expected to be well over 1 million pounds apiece, said the newspaper, citing sources close to the situation.

A News International spokeswoman called the 100 million pound figure purely speculative.

News International has settled legal claims by a number of high profile public figures but is still negotiating a host of further claims after it admitted hacking the phones of celebrities, politicians and victims of crime.

($1=0.6465 British pounds)

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien, Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes and Mike Nesbit)