Neil was born in Cambridge, grew up in Ely and has lived in Peterborough for more than 30 years. He worked in the legal profession for nearly 50 years, as well as being a legal writer and editor and, latterly, resident judge in Ipswich and Peterborough.
His interests include church work and charities and he has served as secretary of the Friends of Little Gidding and as a member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Community Foundation. At present he is a pastoral lay assistant at Peterborough Cathedral and a trustee of his local village hall. Neil is married with a family.
Neil was the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire for 2019/20, and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 2011.