Linklaters has circumvented the problem of attracting New York partners to a lockstep firm after reporting an upswing in plateau partner profits to £910,000. The increase at the top of equity, from £850,000 in the last financial year, arrives as Linklaters has taken on three litigation partners and an associate from Shearman & Sterling's New York office. The most senior member of the group Paul Wickes, who has been a partner at Shearman since 1990, is understood to have been earning $1.3m (£850,000), which is equivalent to Linklaters' top of equity of £850,000, during 2002-03. The figure was also the average profit per equity partner at Shearman for its last financial year ended 31 December. Wickes, who specialises in bankruptcy litigation, left Shearman last Thursday (24 July). He will be joined at Linklaters by partners Mary Warren and James Warnot. Associate Amanda Gallagher is also moving to the UK firm's New York office as a partner. The team is the first significant hire Linklaters has made in New York since it decided to ditch its merger plans in favour of organic growth. Shearman declined to comment.