Tougher consumer protections against malicious apps?

11 SEP 2022

There are millions of applications available worldwide and there is no debate that these apps have made our lives more efficient and have improved the way we do things. However, the more commonly used these apps become, the more at risk we are to some of its adverse effects. One in particular is the opportunity of malicious apps.

Malicious apps contain software that are full different viruses and spyware. There main purposes are to harm your device and to collect data. The data collected is often used to commit various criminal activities such as fraud.

To help combat this, the department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) have come up with plans to create more stringent protections against these apps. The DCMS proposals were heavily influenced by the report commissioned by the National Cyber Security Centre. This report highlighted the adverse effects that malicious apps can have on our devices.

One of the main reasons why malicious apps have been so prevalent in our society over the recent years is due to the relaxed security measure that apps stores have. Most app stores do not have a vigorous screening process, which means that they often fail to detect malicious software in apps.  It was reported that one the UK’s biggest app stores discovered and removed over 1 million malicious apps in 2020. While these figures are shocking, they highlight how urgently the government needs to act.

Key changes proposed

The government have proposed a new code of practice for app developers and store operators to execute. This new code of practice includes a meticulous vetting process to ensure that only genuine apps make it on to the store platform. The code also aims to have an effective reporting process in place so that any issues will be addressed and dealt with quickly. Developers will also receive detailed feedback from the app store when necessary. The code of practice intends to protect the interest of users so that they feel safe when using and downloading apps.  While this may appear to be an effective plan, the government have proposed to make the code of practice voluntary. Without this being a mandatory requirement, it is hard to see how successful this will be.

Another potential issue is the ever-growing digital market, new technological developments are constantly evolving, will the governments’ proposals be able to keep up with future advancements?

The DCMS considered this and have come up with ways in which apps could help future-proof the proposed reforms despite any prospective developments.

Firstly, it is advised that apps have strong security measures to help prevent the threat of viruses. Users should also be fully informed about the app’s security procedures and there should be an effective reporting system in place.

Before the proposed changes come into effect, the government have invited tech industry experts to provide detailed feedback on the proposals and its likely impact. The data collected will be reviewed and the government seeks to publish a response later this year. Therefore, we will have to wait and see whether or not this reform will go ahead.

Yulia Barnes

Managing Partner

Yulia Barnes is our Managing Partner. She is an experienced solicitor and advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters for both private and corporate clients.

Experience Yulia started her legal career at a large international Magic Circle firm. She then became a partner at a regional law firm and headed a Dispute Resolution Department. She then moved in-house before starting her own Boutique practice, Barnes Law, with the aim of providing exclusive services to high net-worth individuals and privately-owned businesses. More details can be found on her LinkedIn profile.

Expertise Yulia and her team are widely recognised for their professional and practical approach to matters. She is committed to ensuring that her clients’ objectives are achieved in the most cost-effective way possible.

Approach Yulia has a wealth of experience working with businesses of all sizes: from large multinational corporations to start-ups. She has particular expertise in a hospitality industry, investment funds, private and corporate clients, and focuses on startups and technology-driven companies. Yulia brings the same level of attention to detail, professionalism and a personal touch to every case and client, and truly immerses herself in her clients’ businesses. She prides herself on her problem-solving, commercially astute approach and her track record of partnering with clients to help them achieve their strategic objectives.

Will Moran


Will joined Barnes Law as an Associate Solicitor in Spring 2023, shortly after qualifying in September 2022.

Will works mostly on real estate and corporate/commercial matters. Will enjoys providing advice on transactional matters.

Away from the office, Will can be found reading or playing golf. While he played rugby until university, and rowed throughout his degree, he now tends to watch both from the sidelines. During the winter he can also be found skiing.

Will plans to continue developing his legal skills and experience at Barnes Law, under the expertise and guidance provided by Yulia.

Mark Corran


Mark is an experienced solicitor whose practice areas include intellectual property (IP), IT, data protection and general commercial law.

Mark advises businesses of all sizes – from sole traders to corporations. Among his clients are: clothing and lifestyle brands, restaurants and food suppliers, IT companies, banks, hedge funds and venture capital firms, education providers, medical and pharmaceutical brands.

Outside of his practice, Mark also advises members of the Institute of Directors as part of its Directors’ Advisory Service.

Recent transactions
  • Prosecuting a UK trademark application on behalf of an education provider and representing them in related UK IPO opposition and revocation proceedings;
  • Advising a publisher and a delivery business on data protection matters, B2B and B2C Ts & Cs of sale, website and app Ts & Cs, all aspects of global brand protection;
  • Advising footwear brands, alternative asset managers and hedge funds on their global brand protection, including overcoming various refusals, representing them in opposition proceedings and settlement negotiations;
  • Representing a central bank in opposition proceedings before the UK IPO;
  • Advising a lifestyle brand concerning trademark clearance and protection, negotiations for a website/app development and maintenance agreement.

Ioulia Tatawat

Family Law Adviser

Ioulia has a solid background in family law and offers guidance, clarity, and support to clients during one of their most challenging times in their life.

She advises on all three pillars of separation: divorce, children matters and financial settlements. Ioulia is a member of Resolution and is keen to try to settle matters at early stages.

Ioulia is dedicated to assisting clients and navigating them through their legal matters with clarity and support.

Alex Reidy


Alex joined Barnes Law in September 2023 after finishing his master’s degree in law. Prior to joining Barnes Law, Alex worked in property litigation at Ashfords. Alex assists Yulia on a variety of both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Outside of the office, Alex enjoys reading and hiking. Prior to working in law, Alex was a competitive tennis player.

Alex continues to develop his skills in legal practice under Yulia’s guidance, he plans to sit the Solicitor’s Qualifying Exams (SQE) in 2024.


Mehves Selamoglu


Mehves joined Barnes Law in August 2023, right after graduating from Queen Mary, University of London (LLB Senior Status). As part of her qualification journey, Mehves is currently pursuing her Legal Practice Course (‘LPC’) at the University of Law. She also holds a degree in European Union Law from Maastricht University, Netherlands.

Mehves works closely with Yulia on a variety of contentions matters and also writes Barnes Law’s legal blogs, manages social media accounts and is responsible for marketing.

Outside of work and studies, she enjoys running, tennis and yoga.

Mehves is looking forward to developing her legal skills at Barnes Law.


Julia Podgornova

Investor Relationship Manager

Julia guides clients in making important business decisions based on comprehensive risk assessment and strategy. She supports investors in devising strategies designed to maximise each business’s potential from pre-seed to IPO.

Julia’s particular area of expertise are IT start-ups at different stages. Julia supports business through their fund-raising journey. As an Investor Relations Manager, Julia communicates with investors to facilitate a smooth round and legal part of each transaction.

In her free time Julia enjoys sailing, ballroom dancing, art exhibitions and travel.