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representative action

An action brought by or against one or more persons as representative(s) of a larger group. All the persons represented must have the same interest in the proceedings, and therefore a representative action cannot generally be brought if each member of the group has a separate claim for damages. Judgment in a representative action is binding upon all the persons represented. An example of a representative action is one brought by company members on behalf of themselves and other members against the company in respect of a wrong done to them by it (e.g. a denial of their voting or class rights embodied in the articles of association or an *ultra vires act). Compare *derivative action.

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