The 'PR guru,' famous for helping negotiate terms on which people could sell their stories to the press, told the Inquiry how he had come to an out of court settlement with Rebekah Brooks over the hacking of his telephone by News of the World.
He said: "It was over a quiet lunch not long after Rebekah had been made chief executive... It was £220,000 a year for three years plus all my legal costs."
Although a victim of hacking himself, Clifford said he believed hacking was confined to a few people under pressure to get stories.
Clifford praised the free press in Britain and the way it exposes scandals such as MPs expenses, but that essentially "people prefer to read nasty things about others than to read nice things".
Claiming that newspapers can "destroy people," Clifford said that a lot of his work is "damage limitation" and described stopping the News of the World identifying the woman who organised Max Mosley's orgy.
He also represented Robert Murat, who sued over stories libelling him in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and was eventually awarded £600,000 from four newspapers in 2008.
Clifford said Murat was "bordering on suicide" and that the PCC was of no use.
If there is to be a replacement of the PCC, Clifford said people need to be made more aware of it: "If you need an ambulance you know who to call," he adds. "If you are facing a potential media nightmare you need to know who to call."