Dr. Thomas Söbbing, LL.M.

Legal Manager Germany / Head of Legal & Compliance
CRIF Bürgel GmbH

Dr Soebbing, Lawyer (GER), PhD (GER), LLM (D/WA), is head of Legal & Compliance at CRIFBÜRGEL. In this role Dr Soebbing is responsible for the legal and data protection issues of the company in Germany and leads a team of legal and business professionals and external lawyers in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Karlsruhe.

CRIFBÜRGEL is one of the leading providers of credit information concerning businesses and private individuals. He also provides solutions in address and credit risk management. CRIFBÜRGEL is part of the global credit reference agency group CRIF, based in Bologna, Italy. The group currently has around 4,200 staff professionals and 67 subsidiaries in over 30 countries across four continents. 


Dr Soebbing was in leading and consulting position at Daimer, IBM, KPMG, Siemens und Deutsche Leasing.

During his clerkship, he negotiated contracts in the tens of millions for debis (Daimler). Then he joined to IBM as lead advisor of contracts and negotiations. After that, he worked in the area of business-consulting for KPMG where he advised a number of CXOs. Then he joined to Siemens SIS as head of (legal-) contract management and reported directly to the CFO. He worked the last seven years as a Chief Legal Specialist for the marketleader Deutsche Leasing.

In his career, he was responsible for Siemens AG’s largest contract (€ 7.8 billion) and was heavily involved in complex M&A, outsourcing, IT and financial transactions. He conducted negotiations with more than 300 companies from Germany (including three quarters of the DAX companies), Europe, USA, and Asia as well as most major law firms.

In 2014, The Legal 500 nominated him to one of the “Top 100 Corporate Counsel” and in 2017 elected him to the General Counsel Powerlist Germany of “Most Influential Lawyers in Business”.


He has published six books and several hundred scientific articles. Among his most significant works are the standard work a manual of outsourcing called “Handbuch IT Outsourcing” in 4th edition 1207 p. and his much acclaimed publications on phenomena such as negative interest rates, the contract theory of the Nobel Prize 2016, collective intelligence, space law, robotics and many IT innovations.

Prof Michael Bartsch praised his publications in various places, while Prof Thomas Hoeren even describes his groundbreaking work on IT law as “a big hit”, Prof Jochen Schneider sees him as a “Most Innovative Lawyer”.

He published also in or about USA, United Kingdom, Suisse, Russia, Israel, India and China. His works are also appeared in journals like the Wall Street Journal, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Indian Journal of Law, and China IP Law. For example, see Dr Roland Vogl of Stanford Law School says his article on the Current Issues in German IT law is “very informative”.


Dr Soebbing visited Prof Henry Smith at Harvard University, thought for CBL at Somerville College, Oxford and at Magdalene, Cambridge and was a adj. Professor in a predicate exam accessible master’s program at Martin Luther University in Germany.

In total, he has lectured at more than a dozen universities and is now a guest lecturer at the private foundation universities German Graduate School and HHL Leipzig Graduate School. Furthermore, he teaching in executive education courses and is an examiner for the Master exam.

Dr Marco Corradi of Jesus College, Oxford, think about his academic works, he is “a lawyer with an outstanding reputation”.

Conferences, lectures and association activities

Dr Söbbing was a lecturer at over 200 conferences / seminars by leading providers of management programs. He has lecture at federal associations / NGO’s and gives in-house seminars for the senior management of well-known companies.

He spoke at the annual meeting of the Polish Lawyers’ Club in Warsaw and gave a controversial talk on “Disruptive Innovations” to McKinsey & Company Managers at a Rotarian meeting.

He is a member of the Apsen Institute and the German association for United Nations. He is also in the editorial advisory board of the magazine “Medien & Recht International” and is external consultant to Germans first business journal “Handelsblatt”.


Dr Soebbing studied law at the University of Muenster (best Law School in Germany) and journalism, political science and philosophy. He was a fellow of the renowned Prof Thomas Hoeren (“leading voice of IT law”) and received his doctorate as a part-time from Prof Jürgen Bellers, and Prof Susanne Strahringer (Dean of EBS, one of first private Business Schools in Germany) in Siegen.

He completed the Master of Laws of HHU in conjunction with a CASRIP scholarship and a study visit at the University of Washington and also obtained the certification in the US Patent & IP Law. 

He also graduated in programs at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Shanghai, and St. Gallen.

Social and Hobbies

Already as a student, he organized a food bank at the Red Cross. As a student he was co-founder & board member of Step by Step, an association supporting international. Humanitarian projects (ia in Nepal, Haiti, Sudan) and today he joins with his work in committee of Human Rights Watch and its pro bono human rights observance.

In addition, he is a member of the curatorship cultural Frankfurt and writes in his spare time literature reviews for audiobooks.

Dr. Soebbing is a passionate runner and participates in half marathon events. He regularly rides mountain bikes, plays golf (miserable), likes to sail and in his vacations he faces the challenges of long-distance trails such as the Way of St. James.