D&O insurers are bracing themselves for multi-million pound claims as former Worldcom chief executive Bernie Ebbers was found guilty of fraud and seven counts of filing false documents after a six-week trial.

A senior market source said that while D&O cover is bespoke at this level, it is likely that third parties, such as Worldcom's clients and suppliers, will be able to claim back on the company's D&O cover.

Shareholders lost £94bn and 20,000 workers lost their jobs when Worldcom went bankrupt in 2002.