Melissa Johnston


Auckland Office
Melissa Johnston
's Insights

Areas of Expertise

Employment - Employees
Employment - Employers


Melissa is an experienced employment lawyer who advises both employers and employees on a wide range of issues. She has experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters and advises employers on restructuring, redundancies, personal grievances, mediations, employment documentation, and investigations.

Additionally, she advises employees on disciplinary and performance issues, redundancies, personal grievances, and employment documentation.

Her clients have described her as approachable, pragmatic, and appreciate her practical advice.

In 2023, Melissa was appointed to the New Zealand Law Society Employment Committee. The Employment Law Committee plays a crucial role in monitoring and submitting on employment legislation and case law. It also addresses issues affecting employment law practitioners, fosters communication with relevant groups and departments, and contributes to practitioner education. Melissa's exceptional expertise and experience in employment law is a key reason behind her well-deserved appointment.

In 2018, she was recommended in the Legal 500 and in 2019, she was named a Rising Star in the Legal 500.


Melissa studied at Victoria University in Wellington.  Starting work in Wellington, she worked on a range of matters including family, criminal and employment matters. Melissa then spent nine years in London working as a Senior Associate in a leading law firm. She returned to New Zealand in 2014 and worked for a global law firm before joining McVeagh Fleming in 2020.

Main practice areas

Employment matters including: restructures; redundancies; personal grievances; employment investigations including allegations of bullying and harassment; employment agreements and other documentation; holiday pay and bonuses; representing clients at mediations and the Employment Relations’ Authority.

Melissa also presents seminars to clients and regularly presents at conferences.


BA, Victoria University of Wellington 1998

LLB (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington 2002

Admitted to the New Zealand Bar 2002

Admitted as a Solicitor of England and Wales 2006


New Zealand Law Society Employment Committee - Committee member

Member of Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRNZ)

Member of Auckland District Law Society

Member of New Zealand Law Society

Member of Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association

Examples of transactions

Outside interests

Outside of work Melissa likes to travel, spend time with her family, and she is also a keen runner.