Veteran Australian music publishing executive Norm Lurie has announced plans to retire from his company, Music Sales. But it won't happen until the end of next year.

Lurie, who currently serves as the publisher's managing director, will depart on Dec. 31, 2011 after 30 years with the firm.

"I have decided that in the upcoming future I wish to dedicate more time to pursuing outside interests, whilst maintaining my close ties within the industry," said Lurie in a statement.

Robert Wise, chairman and managing director of the company's parent Music Sales Group, added: "It saddens me to think of Norm leaving Music Sales in 20 months time after so many years. His leadership, dedication and energy will be missed, but I know that his bond with the company will always be a strong one."

The Australian company includes the Larrikin Publishing business and is active in book publishing, production music, print music publishing and it operates a hire library catalog.

Lurie has sat on the board of AMCOS and AMPAL since 1989, and was inducted into the Australian Music Association's Honour Role in 2009.

But it was Lurie's decision to sue the creators of Men At Work's 1980s hit "Down Under" that should forge his legacy.

A Federal Court judge in early February found that Men At Work's anthem had reproduced a "substantial part" of the children's campfire anthem "Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree", infringing copyright in the Larrikin-represented work and paving the way for a huge royalty settlement.

Lurie's Larrikin Music launched compensation proceedings when the similarities between the songs were raised during a September 2007 episode of the local Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV quiz show "Spicks and Specks." During the program, the question was posed, "What children's song is contained in the song Down Under?" The answer, according to the show, was "Kookaburra".

The reason to give a 20-month lead-time was a pragmatic one, explains Lurie. "We run a very diverse business and the owner was keen to keep me around to both mentor in my replacement," he tells, "and to keep a hand on some of the more traditional aspects of our business, like print."