Alana Petraske

Partner | New York

*Not currently admitted in any US jurisdiction

Alana is a partner in the charities team.

She 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 a range of operational matters. Alana was selected by the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners as the People’s Choice – Trusted Advisor of the Year at the 2019/20 Private Client Awards.

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.


I have used Alana’s services both as a peer and a client for a charity which I chair and I would have no hesitation in recommending her. She is responsive, extremely knowledgeable and very easy to work with and I have said when asked that she is my “go to” professional when it comes to dealing with international charities and to advise clients with respect to their philanthropic endeavours.

Charity trustee

Alana is that valuable combination of a knowledgeable expert on her subject and a trusted adviser on complex and sensitive matters. I have worked with her as both a fellow professional and a client on UK and international issues, where she has combined the worldwide talent of Withers with her own excellent judgement.

Wealth management executive

Our Foundation recently established a dual qualified charity in the UK. From concept to incorporation to ongoing operations, Alana and the Withers team have provided us with exceptional legal guidance at each step. Alana’s expert knowledge of charitable law, combined with her professionalism, thoroughness and responsiveness, has allowed us and our donors to maximize the benefits of charitable giving in the UK and other parts of Europe. Alana and the Withers team have been a key to our success in launching our new venture into Europe.

University of Illinois

Withers really understands the advisory needs of donor advised funds, and particularly US and UK qualified ones. Alana is an invaluable resource for us as we deal with complex questions of strategy, tax and fiduciary responsibility. I particularly appreciate how responsive she is on urgent work – she’s always there to provide answers that cut through the complexity.

John Canady - National Philanthropic Trust

Alana Petraske stands out as a global leader in private client philanthropy, helping families establish the most effective philanthropic vehicles/structures and providing nuanced, considered advice. She is an expert in transatlantic philanthropy.

Legal 500, 2021

Alana Petraske is singled out as being ‘very bright and very talented’.

Chambers UK 2018, London

Alana Petrakse, who ‘has a brain the size of a planet’.

Legal 500 UK, 2017

Sources appreciate her solution-oriented approach, describing her as “very innovative, open to ideas and proactive.”

Chambers, 2018

Track record





Obtaining UK tax recognition for a German family foundation.

Advising a private bank on its philanthropy offering.

Restructuring a group of family charities in light of changing activities and family dynamics.

England and Wales, 2007

Foreign Legal Consultant (State of New York)

Comparing Foundation Minimum Distribution in the US, Canada, and the UK,’ Withers Insight - February 2, 2022, co-authored

Philanthropy 2021 - ‘Doing Better At Doing Good’,’ IFC - July 7, 2021, author

Trust-based philanthropy and the foundation board,’ Taxation of Exempts - February 12, 2021, author

Non Profit Organizations Committee, NY City Bar Association

National Assciation of University and College Attorneys

STEP Global Philanthropy Advisers Special Interest Group

‘Legal Issues of Museum Administration,’ Withers will sponsored conference on museum administration - March 11, 2021, speaker

‘Post Exit: Philanthropy on sale of the family business’ – Business Families Spotlight (November 2017)

‘Next Generation Philanthropy’ - The Philanthropy Programme seminar (September 2017)

Me in a minute

Getting private money into public benefit space is what gets me out of bed in the morning

I am privileged to be able to devote 100% of my practice to philanthropists and charitable institutions (including family foundations, donor advised funds, community foundations, universities and others).

I have a particular interest in families - involvement of children and succession issues in family philanthropies, as well as the interplay with the family business. As an ‘expat’ myself, I’ve always focused on the international issues facing both donors and charities.

I enjoy sector advocacy, participating in initiatives on the ‘giving cap’, charitable ‘lifetime legacies’, and the impact of FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard. I am currently participating in the HMRC Working Group on CRS and charities at the request of the Charity Tax Group. As secretary of the Charity Law Association and a member of its Standing Committee on Taxation, I am frequently called upon to contribute to tax and other consultations.

I write and speak frequently and have been published or quoted in The Economist, The Financial Times, The Times, and the Guardian, and sector publications such as STEP Journal, Offshore Investment, Trusts & Trustees, Third Sector, Charity Finance, Philanthropy UK Quarterly, Philanthropy Impact Magazine, Private Client Practitioner, Charity Times, and Accounting Web.



  • English




New York

430 Park Avenue,

10th Floor,

NY 10022-3505

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