Alana Petraske

Special Counsel

  • Education: Cleveland Institute of Music, Cardiff University, Music
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 2007
  • Year joined: 2010


Alana advises both charities and their donors on a wide range of legal, fiscal, and regulatory issues.

Her practice focuses on tax-efficient giving by corporate and individual donors, including advising on the structuring of philanthropic giving vehicles, the terms of direct funding, venture philanthropy, social investment and the involvement of family members and succession issues in family philanthropies.

Alana also focuses on international issues facing both donors and charities, including cross-border giving and fundraising, tax and fiduciary issues connected to overseas operations, UK regulation and recognition of foreign organisations, and the establishment of ‘dual qualified’ charity structures which enable tax-efficient giving in the US and the UK.

In addition, Alana has experience advising trustees, companies, royal charter bodies, CICs, and associations on a variety of operational matters including: fundraising, sponsorship and trading, constitutional reorganisations, campaigning and elections, and social enterprise.

Alana is ranked in Legal 500 for charity law and education and Citywealth as a leading adviser in charity law.


Recent highlights include:

  • Advising a philanthropic family on choice of jurisdiction for a family foundation;
  • Advising prominent US universities and other institutions in relation to international fundraising and study abroad operations;
  • Advising an English charity on a proposed gift of artwork from a US-UK taxpayer;
  • Advising a philanthropist on the complex funding of an English charity from international sources;
  • Establishing a US-UK dual-qualified family philanthropic vehicle for a UK resident non-domiciliary founding donor;
  • Advising a family foundation on involving the 'next generation' in the family philanthropy;
  • Assisting a household name arts institution on the release of permanent endowment restrictions;
  • Advising an English charity on the application of tax anti-avoidance rules on the provision of donor benefit;
  • Providing tax and fiduciary advice to charitable beneficiaries in relation to the administration of an English estate;
  • Advising an international professional association on its jurisdiction options for establishing an international non-profit organisation;
  • Advising a global charitable group on the relationship between its US and UK entities;
  • Establishing US-UK dual-qualified fundraising charities for American and English educational institutions and advising on their compliant operation;
  • Advising an entrepreneur on structuring philanthropic and social enterprise activities in connection with a family business;

Publications and speaking engagements

Recent publications and engagements include:

  • 'International families and their philanthropy: jurisdiction and structure choices', Trusts and Estates (Forthcoming June 2016)  
  • 'Foundation investment – Integrating Money and Mission', Philanthropy Impact Magazine (Forthcoming 2016)  
  • 'Wake-Up Call For UK Charities – The Common Reporting Standard Is Here', Global Tax Weekly (May 2016)
  • 'Legal Update - including tax', Charity Law Association Annual Conference (October 2015)
  • ‘Giving Across Cultures’, CASE Europe Annual Conference (September 2015)
  • 'Where can I earn more interest on church savings?' Financial Times - Your Questions (May 2015)
  • 'Individual and Business Giving in an international context', British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce Roundtable (February 2015)
  • 'Structuring International Charities: Theory and Practice', Russian Wealth Advisors Forum Zurich (February 2015)
  • 'The role charity can play in the family business', Tax & the Family Business (November 2014)
  • ‘Philanthropy and the international family’, Offshore Investment (August 2014) 
  • 'Family Foundations: Legal and Tax Issues', Philanthropy Impact Roundtable (July 2014)
  • 'American Philanthropists in Europe', Philanthropy Impact Roundtable (June 2014)
  • ‘A pivotal moment for Gift Aid’, Finance Focus (October 2013)
  • ‘Giving Across Cultures’, CASE Europe Annual Conference (August 2013)
  • ‘Tax issues for fundraisers’ CASE Graduate Trainee Scheme (June 2013)
  • ‘The business of family business giving’, Campden FB (April 2013)
  • ‘Dispatches from the Philanthropy Front Line’, Philanthropy Impact (March 2013)
  • ‘The 10% inheritance tax rate and maximising your return’, Legacy Labyrinth (January 2013)
  • 'The practice of international philanthropy' in International Charitable Giving, Oxford University Press (with Christopher Groves) (November 2012)
  • Charities: Implications of FATCA, Governance & Compliance (with Kristin Konschnik) (November 2012)
  • 'Investing in the US', Charity Finance (with Kristin Konschnik) (November 2012)
  • The Philanthropy Programme - Panel: 'Is the future of philanthropy bright?' (November 2012)
  • Charity Law Review Conference 2012 - 'Fundraising law update' (September 2012)
  • 'Anglo-American Philanthropy in a time of fiscal crisis', Offshore Investment (with Richard Cassell) (July 2012)
  • 'The Giving White Paper one year on', The Guardian (June 2012)
  • European Association of Philanthropy and Giving - 'Philanthropy as a part of Wealth Planning' (May 2012)
  • 'Technical Briefing - the tax relief cap: a lawyer's view', Charity Finance (April 2012)
  • Charity Law and Practice Conference 2011 - 'Key Tribunal decisions in 2011' (December 2011)
  • European Association of Philanthropy and Giving - 'Cross border giving: still a challenging area for philanthropists and advisors' (October 2011)
  • Technical Briefing: Proposed reduced rate of Inheritance Tax, Charity Finance (August 2011);
  • Philanthropy and the Non-Domiciliary, STEP Journal (August 2011);
  • Philanthropy Review: A call to Action, The Guardian (July 2011);
  • Giving to the Full, The Lawyer (June 2011);

In addition, Alana has contributed to: International Charitable Giving (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Charitable Planning Desk Reference (Strategic Philanthropy 2014); Practical Trust Precedents and Practical Will Precedents (Sweet & Maxwell); and Charities Trading and the Law, (2009); Alana has been quoted in The Economist, the Guardian, The Financial Times and specialist charities reports and publications.


Alana is Secretary of the Charity Law Association (CLA) and a member of its Standing Committee on Taxation.  Alana is a member of the Steering Committee of the STEP Philanthropy Advisors Global Special Interest Group, and a trustee of Philanthropy Impact.  She is a member of the International Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Division of the Law Society.

On a personal note

A New York City native, Alana enjoys cooking, travelling and history.


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