News International has agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages to 36 victims of phone hacking.

Actor Jude Law, one of 15 victims whose settlement was made public, was awarded £130,000 after it was revealed that 16 articles published about him in the News of the World and The Sun were obtained by phone hacking.

"For me this case was never about money, it was about standing up for myself and finding out what happened. I owed it to my friends and family to do this," Law told Associated Press.

Law was one of 60 people who have taken legal action against News International for alleged phone hacking, including footballer Ashley Cole and former depuity prime minister John Prescott.

After each of the 36 settlements were announced in London's High Court on Thursday, lawyer Michael Silverleaf stood and expressed the company's "sincere apologies" for damage and distress caused by illegal activities.

The company also admitted hacking emails, including those of Christopher Shipman, son of serial killer Harold Shipman.

The number of victims of phone hacking is thought to number in the hundreds. Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many victims, said there was more action to come.

"Fewer than one percent of the people who were hacked have settled their cases. There are many more cases in the pipeline."

He added that the legal battle was "not even at the end of the beginning".

Victims who had already settled with the company included actress Sienna Miller, who received £100,000 and the parents of murdered Milly Dowler, who won more than £2 million.

Ten settlements are due to go to court next month.