About us

This website was created by Chris Gill, Carolyn Hirst, and Jane Williams. It brings together research we have conducted (sometimes with other colleagues) on complaint resolution over a number of years. This has included looking at complaints in public services, in relation to consumer problems, and in relation to external complaint handling by ombuds and others.

Our aim in creating this site is to communicate the findings of our research to practitioners and all those interested in improving the way in which complaints are dealt with. We believe that much of the transformational potential of complaints remains unrealised and this site is our contribution to changing this. Here is more information about our team.

Chris Gill is a Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Glasgow. He was formerly a practitioner, having worked in complaints at the Advertising Standards Authority and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. Chris has conducted extensive research into ombudsman and complaint systems and is currently developing a project focusing on complaints in adult social care and social housing. 

Carolyn Hirst is former Lecturer in Ombudsman and Complaint Handling Practice, an Honorary Research Fellow at Queen Margaret University and an independent researcher, mediator and conflict consultant through her own business Hirstworks. Following 20 years working in social housing, she served as a Deputy Scottish Public Service Ombudsman and an Ordinary Member of the First Tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber). She is currently on the Board of NHS Lothian, Midlothian Integration Joint Board and the Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman and is a former English and Scottish Housing Association Board Member.

Jane Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Dispute Resolution at Queen Margaret University.  She also leads a number of courses for the public sector and ombuds and ADR organisations on dealing with complaints. Jane formerly worked in local government in Scotland.  Jane’s research relates to consumers’ and complaint handlers’ experiences of fair complaint handling and she is part of the team currently developing a project focusing on complaints in adult social care and social housing.