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 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

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 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

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

‘Avoiding Family Philanthropy Pitfalls,’ Family Business Magazine - January/February 2018

International Families and their Philanthropy: Jurisdiction and Structure Choices’, Trusts and Estates - 2016

‘Foundation investment – Integrating Money and Mission’, Philanthropy Impact Magazine - 2016

Charity Law Association

Philanthropy Impact

CLA Standing Committee on Taxation

‘Common Reporting Standard and Charities’, Charity Tax Group Annual Conference - April 2016

‘Legal Update - including tax’, Charity Law Association Annual Conference - October 2015

Giving Across Cultures’, CASE Europe Annual Conference - September 2015

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





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