While researching for his MPhil at Sheffield Polytechnic during the mid 80s, Neil became involved with a local law firm and developed a conveyancing system for them. On completion of his Masters, Neil formed Solicitec (later renamed Visualfiles) to further develop and sell legal application software. The company grew to become the UK’s largest legal software specialist and was purchased by Lexis Nexis in 2006. Neil continued to work for the US parent company as VP of Information technology strategy until 2008 when he formed EW Development LLP with his previous business partner Mark Woodward with the aim of providing early stage investment and development advice to Yorkshire companies. Through EW Development, Neil has made a number of investments in fields as diverse as Drug research (Retrogenix Limited), Fine Furniture design (Neal Jones Furniture), High efficiency lighting solutions (Carbon Reduction Technology), Software (Intuitive Business Intelligence), Construction (Oaklands Properties Limited) and a French restaurant (Le Box, Boston Spa).