Troubled US firm Brobeck Phleger & Harrison has lost the co-chair of its global venture capital practice just weeks after the mass defection of 17 partners to Clifford Chance. John Montgomery has left the firm to join 40-lawyer corporate boutique Carr & Ferrell. He will start at his new firm later this month. Montgomery is the firm's first high-profile partner to leave since the Clifford Chance raid. He said that his decision was not prompted by the recent upheaval at Brobeck. Instead, he put his decision down to the desire to join a small, focused outfit. At Carr & Ferrell he will centre his practice on emerging growth companies and venture capital firms. Carr & Ferrell, which was started in 1992 by former Fenwick & West partners, appealed because of its corporate and intellectual property specialisms.