The former Trenwick International chief executive, Russell English, and underwriter James Trusselle have been awarded £10,000 each in damages after Insurance Insider was found guilty of publishing a defamatory article about them.

The Royal Court of Justice also ruled that the trade publication Insider must pay legal costs worth an estimated £170,000.

It is thought to be the first insurance libel case to reach court.

Hastie Publishing will now have to pay £20,000 damages within five weeks and an interim payment of £70,000 within three months.

Matthew Nicklin, English and Trusselle's barrister, said: "For 14 months Mr Hastie has robbed my clients of their good names."

Editor Peter Hastie said: "I am obviously very disappointed, but I do accept this."