/ Our Story

Established in 2000 by Merv Johnston and Linda Penno, Johnston Penno Limited was built to give employers a single destination for advice, support and representation through the entire life cycle of an employment relationship. From this broader perspective we get to know you and your staff so that you do not need to explain yourself and your business each time you need assistance.  This also puts us in a better position to identify issues in advance that will support healthy employment relations for the benefit of your business. 


Through a range of skills, experience and services we assist you to: 

  • Solve employment-related problems that need fixing now
  • Improve the people side of your business
  • Prevent/minimise employment–related risks in the future 

Our support is: 

  • Practical
  • Responsive 
  • Outcome-focused 

We work:

  • Alongside business owners and managers on specific issues
  • With in-house Human Resources managers
  • As an out-sourced HR manager for businesses which do not need an ongoing HR resource




Linda Penno BA. LLB

Employment Law Specialist / Director

Linda is now the sole Director. She was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1988. She has practised law in a variety of settings including as a partner in a law firm and in the entrepreneurial services division of an international consulting group. She has specialised in employment law since the early 1990’s.  


Raised on a farm, Linda worked in a variety of jobs to finance her study, giving her an early taste of New Zealand’s dynamic and varied business environment.


Being naturally inclined towards a broad range of interests, her career has also included a number of company and not-for-profit directorships in New Zealand and internationally. She has also worked in-house in employment relations roles. Linda’s approach to employment law is informed by her many years of working in an HR context alongside the other founding director of Johnston Penno.   


She considers herself fortunate to work with inspiring hard working business owners and managers across a broad range of sectors and industries. Her clients include corporate organisations, small to medium sized enterprises, not-for-profits and sole traders whose businesses range from timber processing, precision manufacturing, construction, and residential disability services to farming, private training establishments and beyond. 







Nicki Crowther

Administration Manager

Nicki joined us for a month as a temporary Administration Manager in 2008.  She fitted in so well that she has never left.  Nicki has extensive experience in office administration and her background includes accounts, executive support, merchant banking and operating her own business.


Nicki manages Linda and the business on a part time basis alongside running a busy household. She is the first line of contact for any account enquiries or administration matters.