Alana Petraske

  • Partner at Withers LLP (418 Attorneys)
  • 16 Old Bailey, London, England EC4M 7EG
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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, CIC s, and associations on a variety of operational matters including: fundraising, sponsorship and trading, constitutional reorganisations, campaigning and elections, and social enterprise.




‘Complex Gifts and International Giving Vehicles,’ CASE International Advancement: North American Strategies for Global Alumni Relations and Fundraising - January 2019

‘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

‘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

‘Family Foundations: Legal and Tax Issues’, Philanthropy Impact Roundtable - July 2014

‘American Philanthropists in Europe’, Philanthropy Impact Roundtable - June 2014

Giving Across Cultures’, CASE Europe Annual Conference - August 2013

Tax issues for fundraisers’ CASE Graduate Trainee Scheme - June 2013

The 10% inheritance tax rate and maximising your return’, Legacy Labyrinth - January 2013

The Philanthropy Programme - Panel: ‘Is the future of philanthropy bright?’ - November 2012

‘Fundraising law update’, Charity Law Review Conference 2012 - September 2012

‘Philanthropy as a part of Wealth Planning’, European Association of Philanthropy and Giving (May 2012)

‘Key Tribunal decisions in 2011’, Charity Law and Practice Conference 2011 - December 2011

‘Cross border giving: still a challenging area for philanthropists and advisors’, European Association of Philanthropy and Giving - October 2011

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.

Advising US, European and Australian educational institutions on tax-efficient cross--border giving and study abroad.

Establishing a US-UK dual-qualified family philanthropic vehicle for a UK resident non-domiciliary founding donor.

Advising a UK philanthropist on the structuring of a UK/French charity to receive valuable French assets tax-efficiently on death.

Advising a family foundation on involving the ‘next generation’ in the family philanthropy.

Advising a major US museum on the establishment of a UK affiliate.

Comparing jurisdictions for a family foundation for an international family.

Advising UK donor advised funds on donation acceptance and charitable grant making.

Assisting a family foundation with the return of a donation.

Assisting Cayman Islands advisers on the English law position of a proposed philanthropic grant.

Advising an entrepreneur on structuring philanthropic and social enterprise activities in connection with a family business.

Advising a philanthropic family on the reorganization of their family and business 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.


‘Philanthropy in the era of ‘Toxic Donations’ - expert view,’ Spear’s - May 29, 2019

‘Government Support of Journalism: Canada’s New Qualified Donee Meets a UK Review - Parts I and II,’ - The Canadian Taxpayer - May 2019

‘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

‘Wake-Up Call For UK Charities - The Common Reporting Standard Is Here’, Global Tax Weekly - May 2016

‘International families and their philanthropy: jurisdiction and structure choices’, Trusts and Estates - 2016

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

‘Where can I earn more interest on church savings?’, Financial Times - Your Questions - May 2015

Philanthropy and the international family’, Offshore Investment - August 2014‘A pivotal moment for Gift Aid’, Finance Focus - October 2013

The business of family business giving’, Campden FB - April 2013

Dispatches from the Philanthropy Front Line’, Philanthropy Impact - March 2013

‘Charities: Implications of FATCA ’, Governance & Compliance (with Kristin Konschnik) (November 2012)

‘Investing in the US’, Charity Finance (with Kristin Konschnik) - November 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

‘Technical Briefing - the tax relief cap: a lawyer’s view’, Charity Finance - April 2012

‘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

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.

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Charities and non profit
  • Philanthropy
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Private companies
  • Trustees, executors and fiduciaries

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
212 848 9849  Phone
+44 (0)20 7597 6543  Fax
University Attended:
Cleveland Institute of Music, Bachelor of Musicl Master of Music; Cardiff University, Master of Arts; Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, Oxford, UK, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
Law School Attended:
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK, Graduate Diploma in Law
Year of First Admission:
2007, England and Wales


Charity Law Association

Philanthropy Impact

CLA Standing Committee on Taxation

STEP Philanthropy Advisors Global SIG

STEP Charities SIG

STEP Family business SIG

International Bar Association


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